Friday, March 27, 2015

Park Day

The weather has been getting more and more beautiful around here. A park day for some running around and fresh air was definitely in order after being cooped up by illness and injury for so long! Even the boys left the house!

On top of the monkey bars has the best view.

She LOVES swinging!

So does Emie!

Everything is more fun with your big brother.

Right before he ran of to scooter around for a bit.

Climbing around the creek

Both girls ended up soaked!

Climbing with unschooling friend River!

Yay for friends!!

She gives no care about lost shoes.

Dorothy adores Alex.

Having a deep philosophical conversation or discussing video games? Could be neither or both!

I can't think of a better way to have spent the day!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kielbasa with Red Beans and Rice (Recipe)

This is one of the kids favorite dinners. It's one of mine too because it's simple to make and yummy.

First, the ingredients:
1 package of kielbasa (I usually use turkey kielbasa because "health" but you can totally use regular)
1 onion
1 package of red beans and rice (I normally use Zatarain's but Travis grabbed this one instead and it was pretty good!)
1 tbsp butter
3.5 cups water
some olive oil

Now, Recipe:

Bring the water to boil in a decent size pot.
Cooking is more fun with helpers!
While you're waiting for it to boil chop up your onions. Everyone in this house loves onions so I leave them in nice big chunks. You can make them finer if you need them hidden.

Once the water is good and rolling, add the butter to the water.

When it's melted toss in the package of red beans and rice. Let it boil for a minute or two then turn the stove down to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Now heat up your skillet to a good medium heat. Throw in a splash of olive oil and the onions.

While those start to cook chop up your kielbasa.
I like them about a quarter inch thick and on a slant.
 Now really let those onions brown up nice.

And drink some wine.

Once they're nice and browned throw the kielbasa in to brown up a bit too.

After it's all warmed up and brown, turn it down to low and let it hang out until the red beans and rice are ready.

Drink some more wine.

Now throw the red beans and rice in the pan with the kielbasa and onions and crank the heat back up to medium.

Let it cook down a bit and you're done!!

Alex and I like ours with a splash of hot sauce!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Time keeps on slipping...

A couple weeks ago I was in a car accident. The kids, luckily, were at home. I wasn't at fault, so the other guys insurance is paying to have Quincy the Van fixed and for my medical bills (which should be minimal, whiplash related stuff).

Poor Quincy...
It's been slow going around here for the most part because of the accident. Not a lot of outings or adventures, but lots of outside in the yard time.

The yard is in bloom and it's lovely to look at... except for our destroyed grass. We replaced our water main and finished our basement a year and a half ago and it ruined our yard. (Although we now have a dirt pile from digging out the window wells and the girls LOVE playing and digging in it!)

I also remembered this sad old rusted out wheelbarrow we have in our yard... I decided we're going to salvage it and use it as a planter for lettuces!

In more "school-y" news:

Alex has decided to take the GED when he turns 16. (That's in about a year and a half.) He's started taking practice tests and he wants to study the things he's lacking so he'll be sure to pass.

I vividly remember wanting to do this exact same thing when I was a junior in high school and the district did everything they could to stop me. They succeeded. I'm so glad Alex won't have to deal with that ridiculous bureaucracy.

If he should change his mind, no harm, no foul. He can always go back our regular old homeschooling/ unschooling ways or even back in to public school if he wants.

Cassidy is working on his times tables. It was torture for him to memorize them in school, so he never did. He wants to work on some higher level math stuff and it will be so much easier if he has his multiples through ten memorized. He's practicing by just copying a multiplication 10x10 chart that I laminated over and over to start. Just to get used to seeing (and writing) the numbers and their order. He's going to try filling in the chart without the answer sheet once a week to see his progress. I think he's going to add flash cards in next week.

I think he's going to start a new sewing project this week to work on his goal of creating a cosplay costume.

He's also been playing Dragon Box on my phone quite a bit. When he beats it I'm going to get him the next level of the game (Alegbra 12+).

Emie is really into puzzles and board games right now. And being outside. She likes practicing her letters and I'm considering getting her a preschool work book. She asks to "do school work" at least 5-6 times a week and I think a fun work book would fill that request.

I've relearned how to knit and have been making little knit dolls for the girls. My aunt requested one for her great-granddaughter, so I'll be starting on that one this week when I get new yarn for it. I'm really enjoying creating something tangible.

I've been cooking a lot lately too and I'm going to try and remember to take photos of things so I can post more of my favorite recipes here!

I hope spring is coming along nicely for everyone else out there! What are you and your kids working on right now?