Taco Ring

A very good friend of mine visited a few years back for a roommate reunion at my home and introduced us to this fun dinner dish.

It’s a very simple dish; a pound of ground beef or ground turkey with the appropriate amount of taco seasoning (per your seasonings per lb instructions)

1 tube of crescent rolls

shredded cheddar cheese, we use sharp. About 2 cups.

We doubled this recipe when we had the reunion and everyone gobbled it up, it still is a sure-fire win dinner that is easy and quick to prepare for our family too.

It’s beautiful when done and so fun to eat! Change up taco night and give it a try! (you can add onions or whatever else you want, we just keep things simple with 4 children’s pallets to please)

This picture shows how to line up your crescents into a wreath shape, and placing the mixture. It’s really easiest to use your hands to mix all the meat and cheese and then form it on top of the crescents.

Once your loaded up starting wrapping your points around the mixture, go at a bit of an angle. I take the extra and fold it up to “fill in the gaps”. You want to cinch it together just a little so it cooks together.

Voila! The finished taco wreath! I bake as the crescent package says too, your mixture is already cooked and the cheese will easily melt in that time. Make sure it’s browned, it may mean a few more minutes than the package says.

Eat up!

 

 

All in this together

In our 12 years of marriage, 13 this July, we have lived in many places and our experiences in those places and that took us from those places have often been more difficult for others to understand and trust God through than they have been for us. It makes sence, sometimes we saw things coming that were a shock to others, sometimes a curve was thrown to us and God gave us peace in it that can’t be explained. Don’t get me wrong, we have had many moments of asking God if we did something wrong, made the wrong decision somewhere, but you know what, even if we did, He knew we would and is still in control. We just have to trust Him at His word, that He will provide, He can carry our burdens, and His plans for us are for good, not evil.

We are at a point right now where we can see ahead the possibility of a storm developing or a blind hill before a turn ahead. Because we see it and live it, we have the advantage of being the first to fall at God’s throne and ask for wisdom and mercy and grace to travel through it completely dependent on HIM. This is a wonderful experience, to see possibilities and lay them at His feet and walk away with the peace that no matter what it is ahead, He has it and us in His loving hands. To pray for wisdom daily before we are faced with major decisions so we can trust His soft voice when the time comes and we need to choose is a wonderful release of stress.

All that said, what I seem to struggle with the most in our own personal trials of life is helping others through it too. Our lives aren’t just about the 6 of us, things that happen to us affect those that love us and pray for us as well and they need information and time to process that information. I must remember that they are hearing what has, is, or is about to happen after we have known about it and given it over to God. It is only natural to wonder why we seem to not care, we do care, and we want the best, correction, we want God’s best for our family so we just really have to let go and allow God to use anything that comes our way to draw us closer to Him, and bring glory to Him, and hopefully, make a difference in eternity’s light.

I’m thankful to have so many that genuinely care for us and love us and also want God’s best for us. I wish sometimes I could help others not worry, but I can’t flip that switch so I pray they will follow our beaten path to the throne of God and leave our burdens that they try to carry in worry in our pile that is already there. Daily I have to go back and leave more bundles of fear, worry, frustration, things I need forgiveness for at His feet, the walk is sweet the love is indescribable and the closer communion after that walk is one of peace of mind and heart.

God has always, always provided our needs! Sometimes His timing seems slow to me, but He knows better than I do for sure!

Have you followed us on our journey? Here are the turns at a glance:

1999-2000 Chattanooga, TN

2000-2003 Mesquite, TX (Ethan born 2002)

2003-2004 Boissevain, VA (miscarriage)

2004 Roanoke, VA (7 months)

2005-2006 Charlottesville, VA (Luke born 2005)

2006 Lynchburg, VA (almost 2 months in a hotel)

2006-2007 North Charleston, SC (John was told to go to Pooler, GA right after we moved in so he came home on weekends for the first 5 months!)

2007-2008 Midlothian, VA (Chloe born 2007)

2008-2009 Macon, GA

2009-2010 Midlothian, VA and Richmond, VA (Sophie born 2010, one month after we moved from the house to apartment, one month early)

2010-2011 Watertown, NY

2011-current Sackets Harbor, NY

Next…. we don’t know yet, but we know it’s coming one way or another and as long as God has it, we’re good with it. We’d just like to squat somewhere south and stay put for more than 2 years. 🙂

Mt. Vernon, VA

We went to visit George Washington’s place! It’s sad how many people don’t know that Mt. Vernon is his home and say it’s Thomas Jefferson’s!

I have fun memories of playing in the mansion front yard with school friends and was amazed that I really remembered nothing else about the place except the way the front looked, playing in the yard, and the gift shop! Ha!

What a day! I would recommend finding a hotel and making this a two-day event, simply because there is SO much to take in!  We did it in one day, but the kids really didn’t pay attention to the museum as much as I would have liked. It’s a more recent part of the experience and excellently done! It starts with how we are trying to use science for facial mapping of George Washington, did you know that we don’t actually know exactly what he looked like? He moved somewhere around 7 times before he was 12 and I got a kick out of that since we have moved 13 times in 12 years.  (No pictures are allowed to be taken in the museum or mansion, sorry!)

We saw the ration of clothing that the slaves received for the year and were amazed, learned about his fishing adventures, gardening, and his life and death in the mansion. He was a loved president with great vision for the country, without political party cares. The people wanted him to be our King, but in his wisdom he saw that this was only going to lead back to the lifestyle they left in England and did not accept. Thank you Mr. Washington!

The mansion is undergoing renovations and the front was covered completely for the work being done so that was a bummer, but the kids found a bush to play in and had a great time!

We went down by the river and enjoyed the breeze and the view of the gardens.

The kids enjoyed seeing the animals too, they had new baby piglets that were fun to see too!

Mt. Vernon has a quest for kids map that while going through the property the children are to take note and look for answers, when they turn it in at the gift shop they got a souvenier smashed penny of Mt. Vernon… we happen to collect those so that was great!

George Washington died quickly in his own bedroom and the custom then was for the widow to move to another room of the house at her husbands passing and shut their bedroom door for good. So sad! Martha went upstairs to an attic bedroom and people said she never had the same spark about her. She died not long after George of what seems to have been a broken heart. Poor Martha! I definitely did not remember or know that part of their story.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit about Mt. Vernon and I encourage you to make it a family day or field trip sometime soon, they encouraged us to come back for their Christmas festivities, I bet it would be beautiful!! Although I think the flowers in the spring and summer are worth the trip too. 🙂

Sunday Greetings

Enjoy your day with your family.

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the very worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life. Now, to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:15-17  (NIV)

Chicken patty makeover

Ok, so you have noticed by now that I am no gourmet, and while I enjoy making things from scratch occasionally, I don’t often find the time!

We were out of bbq sauce and I was planning chicken for dinner but knew the kids would be asking for their dipping sauces.

I know it’s simple and barely worthy of a blog but sometimes it’s the simple things that escape us, and the simple things that our children enjoy most.

So here it is… all I did was use spoonfuls of leftover Ragu sauce, grated 5 mozzarella string cheese, and about 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese grated.

Cook the chicken as directed first, then pour sauce and cheese on and heat for additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

The kids loved it! We served it with steamed broccoli. 🙂

Enjoy!

Missing blogger finds visuals

Hello! Oh, didn’t mean to startle you, I know I’ve been a “missing blogger” for quite a while now!

It seems my life sped up, blind folded me, spun me around and let me go dizzy there for a bit. (Can you see that picture!?) We have been very busy and yet somewhat lazy in some regards here at our home lately. I have much to catch up on in posts and look forward to filling you in on quick meal fixes we’ve enjoyed, a field trip to Mt. Vernon, career search challenges, spiritual growth, home care,  homeschool ideas and wonderings, and just plain old life. I am working to set aside time each day to prepare a post or two so that on days that I am just not going to make it to the computer… yes.. I DO have those days!… I will be able to share something that I’ve prepared but not yet published. :0)

One thing I will share now. I recently saw a “neighbor” that I had met 6 months ago for the first time in those 6 months! NY winters are about 6 months so this isn’t completely strange, but the children and I wish it wasn’t so hard to keep in touch and develop new friends in the cold, dark months. Anyway, she is moving in 2 months to California! Of course she is! As we were chatting she mentioned that her son was frustrating her the other night with his math homework and just didn’t seem to get it. She said how much she respects my ability to homeshool and tolerate learning curves. I was thankful for the compliment but later that night also thought that this is just another reason that I love homeschooling! Yes, there have been moments in our days where I wonder what language I need to say something in for them to “get it” because I feel like I’ve said it 200 times! However, usually in those moments I have the upper hand as a home school teacher because I know what and how my students have already been taught and if repetition isn’t working, than usually a visual is needed. (or just a 15 minute break!)

So the issue they were having was adding fractions and he just didn’t understand that the denominator stayed the same… repetition of the fact didn’t matter, he just asked why she kept saying it! So the work was turned in as is and I’m not sure he really got it yet. I was one of those students that had a hard time grasping math concepts too, and if we miss early concepts, it just gets harder! Here’s my solution to this visual need… When adding common denominators the denominator stays the same, the visual kinesthetic learner needs to see why this is in a tactile way. (Like me)

So lets say we need to add 2/8 + 3/8

I used a muffin pan and cut up paper towels for the common denominator. We have lots of Legos here so I had the kids get 3 of one color and two of another, they each get sat on the common denominator… so how many 8ths do we have filled up? The answer is 5/8. This can be done with subtraction too, they just need to start with the 5/8 and take away the 3/8 to get 2/8.

I know it’s a simple visual, but when you feel like you are banging your head on a brick wall trying to explain why math does what it does, sometimes the simple eludes us.

That’s all for now folks! More to come… really! 😉