Another Year

Today is my oldest son’s 7th birthday! Crazy, crazy, crazy, my child is SEVEN how did that even happen? At every single birthday I always think that I always think how in the world did time pass by that fast? How did another year move away so quickly and then I get sad. I get upset at myself for all my parenting failures, and all the things I could have done different and all the things I wished I would have made time for. Don’t we all?

Then, I think about all the incredible fabulous memories I have had with him and each of my children and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. It’s at that time I realize no one is perfect, God never promised us that we would be perfect or that we would get everything right the first time or that the amazing children He gave us would come with complete instructions. But, we are called to love and even though I haven’t been the perfect mom I have loved. I have tried my hardest to be a great mom and to give each of my children the love they need.

We got 3 out of 4 to stay still that's an accomplishment!!

We got 3 out of 4 to stay still that’s an accomplishment!!

So, if you are in the struggles of feeling like a failure as a parent or that your time with them is slipping by and you have to get it perfect now, just know that you don’t and will never be so, if you’re striving for perfection you will be disappointed but strive for love. Let them know that you unconditionally love them each and every day, that’s what they will remember!

Love

HAPPINESS is a habit

resourcefulhomeschoolmom.wordpress.com

So, we’ve been working at this whole “homeschool” thing going on three years now, so I think it’s safe to say I’ve got it all figured out!!

YUP, you read that right I’m now the homeschool expert…………………….. Okay, who am I kidding let’s take a step back into reality now.

I’m just like you, I’m still figuring it all out as I go along. Now, I will say that through trial and error and from wisdom from great friends and of course first and foremost through prayer I have learned A LOT!! In all honesty I think that homeschool, just like parenting, is something that we will all always be learning to do. “Perfecting” our techniques, learning to lighten up, realizing what the important things are.

But I just want to share with you what our homeschool really looks like and what I’ve learned in these couple of years. In all honesty, it’s always different. Seriously though, no two days are the same. Some days are super hard… I mean, really, really hard. The kids didn’t sleep well, nor did I, the meal I fixed for breakfast isn’t what anyone wanted, every one has a bad attitude and don’t forget the “mommy, she took my chair” argument we often hear. But, in the midst of the chaos we do manage to have a wonderful productive day most of the time and school does get completed it may not have been done as planned, but, it’s done. Snuggles in the bed before nap time make up for sleepy attitudes, that breakfast that no one wanted is forgotten and the love between sisters is nothing a taken chair can change, and a big brother reading the story to everyone makes everything all right in the world for a while.

Then, you have those days no matter how few and far between they do happen and everything does pretty much go to plan. The one thing I have learned is to relax, they will learn the things we need to teach them. They will get it, they really will. I have learned that if they want to use a crayon instead of a pencil who cares… and yes, I really did insist the first year that every worksheet be done in pencil (no fun!!) but thankfully I got over that. I also learned that it really doesn’t matter where school is done, if they want to go outside instead of learning at the dining room table then go outside, enjoy the beautiful sunshine God gave to you and sit outside and do school.

There are days when we follow the curriculum to a tee and then there are other days where we forget the curriculum and just learn what the kids are interested in. Often times you can learn so much more when you allow for a little wiggle room, when a child is interested they will retain that information, and if you’re concerned that they are missing out on math while hunting for bugs have them count the legs on the bugs and figure out how many bugs they would have to collect to get to 100 legs or something fun like that, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

There are times when catching and learning about tiny frogs is just a bit more important than sitting at a table doing worksheets!

There are times when catching and learning about tiny frogs is just a bit more important than sitting at a table doing worksheets!  resourcefulhomeschoolmom.wordpress.com

There are days where we all sit and do school together and then there are times when someone wants some space and time to themselves and on those days I give them that space, I give them work they can do independently and let them enjoy some peace and quiet.

Some days school may mean going outside and learning how to take care of the garden and using teamwork to water all the fruit trees and discuss how they grow and even measuring to see how much they have grown since you got them.

It may mean daddy teaching you how to light a campfire and make a meal together over the fire and learning fire safety, and then, there are days where field trips to go check out some pretty cool looking animals and learn about where they live and what foods they eat is just an absolute must!!

Smooth Rock  Homeschool can look like so many different things to so many people so, in your own homeschool journey just remember to love on your kids, teach them what’s truly important and most of all make it FUN!!

What is your homeschool like? I would love to hear about your fun homeschool adventures, comment and let me know about all the fun you have!

Cheesy, chicken, goodness coming up!

Oh my goodness you guys I have been wanting to share this new recipe with you all, it is absolutely fantastic!! It’s an anytime of the year meal for me, it’s so nice and creamy and is perfect for a cold fall or winter night, but also has some nice yummy veggies that make it oh so good for spring and summer as well!

But, anyway I’ll just get to the point of telling you what it is 🙂 it’s a super yummy, creamy cheesy chicken and potato chowder with carrots and celery (it would also be nice with peas too). It’s made almost the same as a potato soup with a nice twist and has protein and extra nutrition from the veggies.

For the ingredients I’m telling you what we use for our family of 6 and it was enough for the kids and I to have leftovers for lunch the next day, so you will need:

  • 5 russet potatoes peeled and diced, I left mine kind of large but small enough so they could get soft
  • 5 cups of chicken broth or if you use chicken bouillon cubes like I did then just follow the directions for broth
  • 4 diced carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery thinly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 chicken breast (I cut mine into cubes with shears before cooking)
  • 2-2 1/2 cups of shredded cheese, I use mild cheddar but you could try it out with different cheeses
  • 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter ( I do recommend using real butter, we cut our margarine a long time ago and I won’t go back!!)
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • garnish with fresh parsley (optional)

For this recipe you need to boil your chicken and your veggies first so in a large stock pot add your chicken, potatoes, carrots, celery and bay leaves and cover with chicken broth.

Bring it to a boil then cook on medium- medium/high for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked fully and veggies are no longer hard.

Now you’re going to make a roux with the butter and flour, in a separate pan melt the butter on medium heat then whisk in the flour until it’s nice and creamy smooth. After this you need to slowly add in the heavy cream mixing constantly until it’s combined completely you can now cut the heat up just a bit and bring it to a boil. Let it boil until you get a thicker consistency (usually about 2-3 minutes). Now cut your heat down to low and add in your yummy cheese. Mix it until all the cheese is melted! Once this is done you can add it to your chicken, broth, and veggies and mix thoroughly, cook on low for about 5 minutes and then you’re ready to serve and enjoy!!

Yum! Now I can’t wait to make this meal again!! It was a definite hit for the Ertzberger household!!

*** Don’t forget to let your kids help out with meal times, they will love it and you will enjoy it too! They can help with anything from washing the veggies to peeling or slicing them or even just helping mix give them some type of job and they will do it well and have so much fun!

Let me know if you give this meal a try, let me know how you like it in the comments!!

(Now I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures because it looked so yummy!! I’ll have to be sure to do that next time)

Need A Healthy Breakfast???

I know how hard breakfasts can be, all I want to do is just try to get these kiddos fed before we have a meltdown because every morning they are according to them “absolutely starving!”  Often times HEALTHY is the last thing you have time to focus on so I’ve got a nice yummy and best of all… quick smoothie/juice recipe to share with you.

The best part about this one is……

It only takes FOUR ingredients…. yep, you read that right!! So say goodbye to boxed pastry breakfasts or frozen things that resemble something like a waffle and say hello to a yummy, healthy and also really cool colorful breakfast! When you start your morning with this smoothie you will also feel so much better by giving your body the nutrients it needs!!

For starters lets see what you need:

  • 1/2 C. spinach
  • 1 green apple (I choose granny smith)
  • 1 inch cube of fresh peeled ginger
  • 1/2 cup of water ***or ice

*** If you freeze the spinach and green apple then you add water instead of ice.

Here’s what I did when I first made it, add all your ingredients into the blender and blend away.

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and blend away, blend until you get the consistency you are looking for, for me that consistency resembles as close to juice as I can get it.

This is mid-way through blending, doesn't it look so yummy!

This is mid-way through blending, doesn’t it look so yummy!

I LOVE the green color. You could also obviously use a juicer for this but, I really hate losing all the nutrients that get left out when you use a juicer.

Next, all you need to do is serve and enjoy!

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I could be wrong but I think it tastes even better when you drink it out of a mason jar! 😉

For this one I didn’t freeze the spinach and apple, and to me the ice didn’t make it cold enough so I still chilled it for a bit, but, now I’ll share another tip of what I did to make it even better and to save you even more time on your busy mornings.

I just took the time to make individual “smoothie bags” I peeled and sliced my ginger, cubed the apple and added all the measured ingredients except for the water to its own little bag and stuck it in the freezer, so all you have to do in the morning is grab out a bag and stick it straight in the blender, and this time no chilling was needed!! Yay!!

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I found that since I had full bags of spinach and apples I needed to go through that an assembly line was very effective, I just added one ingredient to all the bags at a time. To make about 14 smoothie bags took me about 10 minutes so it really wasn’t a big deal to get them all ready at once. Be sure to label your smoothie bags to remind yourself to add the water to them when it’s time to blend. I do recommend adding the water in last but only add it in small amounts at a time as the rest is blending, if you don’t you have to keep on taking the lid off and trying to shove the food down to the blades over and over again (that part of trial and error wasn’t too fun).

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I can’t wait to try some others soon. What’s your favorite smoothie recipe? Share it in the comments below!!

Be looking for Printables from me!

I’m so excited to fill you all in about what I’ve decided to start doing. I’m going to start adding printables for all your homeschool needs! I have been thinking about doing this for quite some time now and have finally decided to give it a try, and let me tell you I’m having so much fun and I can’t wait for you all to see them! I will be making one’s for free and will also be having some you can purchase as well.

Also, since I’m still in the process of making them I would love to get some feedback from all of you on what types of printables you would like to see. What age groups, what subjects, etc. Let me know in the comments section and I’ll be sure to get working on some for you!

You should start seeing them within the next month and the one’s for purchase will be available through my etsy shop ………..until I figure out how to put them on here hehe 🙂 As soon as I get some of the printables added to etsy I’ll post the link to my shop etsy shop in another post, I’m going to add sneak peek below of some of what you can expect to see!

Tracing shapes

UPDATE: Laundry Soap!!

I wanted to chime in today with a little update about the laundry soap recipe I tried!!! To say that we LOVE this stuff is a complete understatement, not only has it lasted forever I have been using it for almost a whole month now (remember we’re a family of 6 so we have a TON of laundry) and you can hardly tell it’s even been used, I still have a huge 5 gallon bucket almost completely full of it!! But, it also smells so amazing matter of fact, I had some **clean** laundry that stayed in the basket all week (Don’t judge you know you’ve done that before too) but my hubby grabbed a shirt of his from the basket and it still smelled like it had just come out of the wash, it kept that incredible smell he said he couldn’t quit smelling it :-D!! All of it was like that, there is nothing quite like wearing clothes that smell like that aaahhhhh so refreshing!!

But, now to answer the question I’m sure you’re wondering…… Does it get the clothes clean? Well, I’ll just say this yesterday Justin put on some of his shorts these shorts are some he has had for a couple years, they are the one’s he wears when he’s doing the “dirty work” they have gotten muddy and greasy and any other messy that you can think of, and looked really stained and dingy no matter how many times I washed them. Well, yesterday he said, look at what the detergent did to these shorts, they look so good. These shorts had no stains and didn’t look dingy anymore, I think I’d say that’s a win!! We also have tons of red clay in our yard which is horrible to get out of clothes but this laundry soap gets them out.

Can you tell how excited I am!!! Welcome to adulthood I’m so excited about clean laundry haha!! So, I definitely encourage you to try this out!!