Friday, May 20, 2011

Our Favorite Kid-friendly Tater and Green Bean Recipes

My kids love veggies, but they don't like em' fancied up. Add just a little butter, salt, and pepper...and they'll be happy.

Mom and dad, however, like a little more variety. We've found a few recipes that add some flavor for us and the kids will still eat them ;)

Oven Roasted Taters

4 medium potatoes (cubed, 1") 
1/4 cup or more grated parmesan cheese (we like them covered in it) 
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tbls olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Wash and cube the potatoes. (You can also peel them if you'd like).  Toss with the ingredients. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake 30 mins. or until crispy.

Roasted Ranch Potatoes

1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into fourths
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450. Wash and cut potatoes. (You can peel off skins if wanted). Put in gallon ziploc bag. Add oil and toss to coat. Add ranch packet and toss to coat. (You can also add parmesan cheese if desired). Bake on ungreased baking pan for 30 minutes or until crispy.
(Got this one from a Hidden Valley Ranch recipe booklet)

Granny's Green Beans

fresh green beans
garlic powder
onions (chopped)
bacon (if desired, chopped)

Wash and snap off ends of green beans and break into smaller pieces. Put small amount of oil in a pan and saute onions (and chopped bacon if desired). Add in green beans. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add a little water as needed. Do not overcook. Usually takes 5-7 minutes.
(Got this one from Granny. She doesn't measure anything. Measure according to your taste.)

Mom's Green Beans

fresh green beans
brown sugar
Worcestershire sauce (can also use water)
small amount of mustard powder (if desired)

Wash and snap off ends of green beans and break into smaller pieces. Mix Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar in sauce pan on med-low to low heat. Add in green beans. Usually cooks in 5-7 minutes. Sauce will thicken as you cook beans.
(Got this recipe from my mom. She didn't really measure either. Measure according to your taste.)

New Potatoes and Green Beans

water to cover potatoes and beans
1 tbls salt
1 tsp sugar
 1 pound small red potatoes (skins on)
1 pound fresh green beans
garlic to taste (1 tsp powder or 1-2 cloves minced)
1 tbls butter

Start water, salt, and sugar to a boil. Wash potatoes and add to pot. Cover and cook till nearly done. Add beans, return to boil, and cook about 7 more minutes. Drain. return to hot pot and toss with garlic and butter. Add more salt to taste if needed.

We haven't been getting much of anything from our garden this year except for potatoes and green beans. So, because we have been eating a lot of this lately, I thought I'd post a few of our favorite recipes :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adventures in Review - Week 34 - Final Week of MFW

This is both a happy and sad week for us. Although we are excited to be lightening our load a bit in school as the year winds down, we are also sad to see our Adventures in My Father's World come to an end. {Week 34 actually took us 2 weeks to complete. We figured, with this being our last, we could take our time and stretch it out a bit.} 

Our focus verse was Revelation 21:6 - "...I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End...". 

Fun Fact! - I had never really thought about how we got our word 'alphabet' from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet, 'Alpha' and 'Beta'.

Our Bible verse poster is finally complete!

We finished up our final 2 states - Alaska and Hawaii. The kids had fun with a little guessing game and our state map place mats to try and figure out which state was the smallest and which state was the largest. Aleeya very quickly said Alaska for the largest and Jase was right behind with the smallest, Rhode Island. Of course, with us living in Texas, they just HAD to add in that Texas was the 2nd largest state. Yeehaw!!!

The boys really had a lot of fun writing a letter to the president. They said, "You can actually DO that?" Now, we did not vote for our current president and we do not agree with many of the things he does and supports, but we do tell our children, that no matter what, God tells us to pray for the rulers and leaders of our country. So, the kiddos wrote letters saying they were praying for him and that he would make wise decisions.

We also finished up the parachutes from my previous post. You can check that post out here. They turned out really great and I still have the criss-cross glue stain patterns all over my tile floors. I'll steam mop those day. 

It was also our last co-op week and yet another missions project. This time, we packed large vacuum-seal bags with various items to be sent off to Iran, Pakistan, and Sudan as care packages. VOM will add full color gospel story books to each bag. To read more about this or participate in it yourself, click here.

Can you believe all the items this little group of 13 kiddos and their parents helped to collect?!? It was amazing! 

As far as math and language are concerned, we still have several more weeks to go...about 5 or 6 to be exact. This is the part I am not really looking forward to.

Want to see what curriculum we plan on using next year? Check out this post. I'll give you a hint, we will be traveling around the world exploring other countries and cultures ;) I am sooo excited for the upcoming school year!!! I have also compiled a long list of associated field trips. To go straight to that post to see if any of these ideas will work for you, click here

Be sure to check back soon for our *video* 'year in review' :)  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

2011-2012 Curriculum for Kingdom Academy

My dabbling into next year's curriculum has come in spurts. Now that these 'spurts' are finally tallied up and various thoughts have been gathered together...I think we have a plan for my 2nd grader and (2) 4th graders. They are growing up so fast!
A fun rainy spring day :)

We are going to continue with My Father's World (MFW). This year, we move into Exploring Countries and Cultures (ECC). This will be year 1 of a 5 year multi-age family cycle. I am really excited about ECC. It looks like so much fun and the kiddos are really hyped up about it!!!

MFW ECC covers Bible, literature, history/geography, science, music appreciation, art, and character development. Check out their link here

Abeka has been working well for us, so we are also going to roll with it.

We use Abeka for math, language arts, reading, and spelling. Check out their link here.

Even though My Father's World ECC covers science during the school year, my kiddos love it so much that we are going to continue with "summer science" using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany. This year, we are going to forego purchasing the Notebooking Journal though. Last year, we purchased the notebook that went with astronomy and never got to do much in it. The book itself has waay more projects and activities than we can ever get to, so we'll just stick with the book/manual this year.

Did you miss my last post?....field trip ideas for My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures....if so, check it out here.

Exploring Countries and Cultures Field Trip Ideas for My Father's World

Ok, I have been slowly working on this list ever since getting my box of MFW stuff in the mail a month or 2 back. I would *love* to be able to do everything on this list, however, I'm sure we will not be able to get to all of it. Be that as it may, this is my wish list of field trip ideas while exploring various countries and cultures in my Father's world :)

The wonderful thing about living in Texas is how diverse it it. If you happen to live in Texas, perhaps some of these ideas will work for you as well! And if not, maybe you'll be able to find something similar in your area.

Introduction - Lufkin (Ellen Trout) or Houston Zoos

North America 

United States (Forests) - Big Thicket National Preserve                                                                    

Mexico  (Deserts) - Big Bend National Park, Local Mexican Restaurant 

Canada (General) - Some friends of ours are missionaries in Canada so we get lots of pictures and information from them through their blog at Go and Be. Maybe we can get them to mail us a postcard. We are even considering a possible mission trip up there this summer.

South America - 

Brazil (Rain Forests) - Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid, Rainforest Cafe 

Europe -

Norway (Northern Forests, General) - Sam Houston National Forest, Davy Crockett National Forest, Sabine National Forest, Angelina National  Forest

France (General) - Children's Museum in Houston

Germany (Rivers and Lakes) - Canoeing/Kayaking and/or fishing on Village Creek, Village  Creek State Park

Africa - 

Kenya (Grasslands) - Caddo/LBJ National Grasslands

Asia - 

Saudi Arabia (Ecology and Conservation) - I have a friend who lives in Saudi Arabia and she posts all sorts of wonderful pictures to her Facebook page (perhaps we can get her to mail us a postcard),  Shangri La Botanical Gardens (Orange), Warren Loose Conservatory (Beaumont)

India (Mountains) - Our sponsor child lives in India and we gets lots of letters from him, Indian Restaurant, Guadalupe Mountains National Park

China (General, Oceans) - Chinese Restaurant, Ferry Ride across Galveston Bay, Sea Wolf Park,  
 Galveston Beach, we also know of some missionaries currently in China 

Japan (Oceans) -  Galveston Island State Park, Japanese Garden at Beaumont Botanical Gardens

Russia (Arctic, Tundra) - Maybe a virtual field trip with Go North???, there is also a Russian Chamber of Commerce in Houston

Australia - 

Australia (Coral Reefs) - Houston Aquarium and Aquarium Restaurant, Aquarium at Moody Gardens, My sister-in-law's parents live in Australia. I'm sure we can get them to send us a postcard.

Antarctica - 

Antarctica - Penguin Encounter at Moody Gardens

And, this is very, very wishful thinking, but wouldn't it be awesome to finish up the year in review with a trip to Disney World specifically the World Showcase at Epcot. I know, I know, probably won't happen. But a person can dream, can't they?

If you know of any other field trips or ideas that may work for us, please, please leave me a comment and pass them our way :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Adventures in Review - Week 33

Week 33 in Adventures in My Father's World was all about words...words written, words spoken, words signed. Where would we be without words? 

The main focus this week was about how important God's Word is and about getting His Word out into the nations and to all people. There are 6,912 languages in the world and only 438 have a Bible in their language. Only 438!!! We tried to imagine what it would be like if we did not have a Bible in our language or if we had never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Interestingly enough, we had co-op that week and our project was to make parachutes. The parachutes will ultimately be sent to the Voice of the Martyrs who will attach a Bible or radio pre-tuned to a Christian station and then load them on a plane to be dropped into Columbia. Columbia is a hostile nation...namely hostile against anything or anyone having to do with Christianity. 

How awesome is it that during the same week we discussed the importance of getting God's Word out to the nations that we do this project?!? It was totally not planned this way, but I love it when God brings things together like this :) 

If you would like to read more about the parachute project or even put some together with friends or family, click here.

Next week, I will post pictures of the completed parachutes.

We continued in our state studies with Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. 
The kiddos tried their hand at making Navajo fry bread. They thought it was pretty tasty...except for A, who never wants to try new things, and even if she really likes them, says she doesn't.


We also learned about Thomas Edison and the light bulb, Ford and the first "horseless carriage", and the Wright Brothers and their amazing flying machine.

Well, one more week to go in MFW Adventures. Can we fit just 1 more picture on our poster?!? I think i see a spot :)

To end the week, we watched Inspiring Animated Heroes: Helen Keller. To my surprise, my kids really enjoyed this show. They asked so many questions throughout the entire movie.

Update on Granny - She is out of the hospital and back home. Still very weak and has a lot more testing to do to figure out what is going on. She loves the Lord with all her heart and will be matter what :)

This post has been linked up with Weekly Homeschool Highlights
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Adventures in Review - Week 32

{If you haven't noticed yet, I post my weekly wrap-ups a week after they have already taken place. This gives me a little more time to blog about our adventures. I used to do them the Friday or Saturday of...but that drove me crazy and I always felt rushed.}

Yay! Resurrection Sunday is right around the corner!

This entire week has been somewhat of a blur for me. The kids' Great-Granny went into the hospital on Tuesday. Diagnosis? Pneumonia....NOT good. They also think there is more going on than just the pneumonia, so she'll remain there until they get it all figured out. Granny is a funny, Godly lady. She makes friends with everyone who walks into her room. She jokes about them 'holding her hostage', but she also likes to talk ;) She really likes all the pictures the kids have been hanging up on her walls.

On Tuesday, we volunteered at the Hope Center and on Wednesday, we did our Meals on Wheels route. We brought flowers to each elderly person on our list. We also took some time to wish each of them a very happy Easter, or as we like to call it...Resurrection Day :) I can't tell you how much these elderly people *love* to see kids. Makes me so sad when I hear them say, 'My kids/grandkids just don't come to visit anymore'.

In Adventures in My Father's World, the kids have begun learning that Jesus is the Word. Our poster is just about full.

We are still trucking along in our state studies. We've now added Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming. Because Idaho is known for potatoes, we had baked potatoes for dinner one evening. The kids do not really care for the baked variety, so I turned theirs into a huge plate of mashed potatoes :)

We also learned about another invention - the telephone... and looked at various pictures of older telephones and switchboards. J is geared up and ready to read Bell's Breakthrough from the Blast to the Past Series now.

We also watched a quick 1 minute video on YouTube depicting the geyser "Old Faithful" which is found in Wyoming.

The Resurrection weekend was filled with lots of love, family fun, and an overwhelming thankfulness for what our Savior has done for us.

Me, my Dad, and 8 (out of 9) of my siblings.
Ages 8 to 33 and my dad somewhere in his 50's.

This is a picture of me, my father, and all of my 9 siblings. Well, one brother is MIA because he is currently stationed on the Mexico border. BUT he was there in spirit (and we stuck his picture inside his shirt and tacked it to the tree).  LOL!

 As a wonderful ending to Resurrection Week, we walked through The Last Days of Christ, an outdoor passion drama.

It was awesome!!!

How about you guys? How was your Easter/Resurrection weekend?