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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Beef, Bean, and Rice Freezer Burritos

I made these after our family had taco night, so I already had the meat and rice made! I just doubled all my ingredients, then put these together after dinner!

 BEEF, BEAN, & RICE FREEZER BURRITOS- dairy free

Ingredients
*1 lb ground beef
*Taco seasoning
*2/3 cup of water
*Refried Beans (15 oz can)
*Flour tortillas, 8 inches

Rice ingredients
*2 cups chicken broth
*1 cup white rice
*1 tbsp olive oil
*1/2 cup salsa

1. Cook ground beef, drain grease. Add taco seasoning and water, and cook until water is absorbed.

2. Add oil in medium pan, cook rice until slightly brown. Add chicken broth and salsa & bring to boil, then reduce and Cook for 15 min. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

3. Warm refried beans

4. Soften tortillas by warming in microwave. Assemble burritos by adding about two spoonfuls of beef, beans, and rice.

5. Roll burritos and wrap in plastic wrap. Store in freezer grade ziploc bag.

To Warm:
Remove plastic wrap, and microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Sometimes I poke the middle once with a fork to make sure it heats evenly.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What doesn't kill you...



"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
This proverb is so well known, that even my kids know it. I'll admit I have sang Kelly Clarkson's song "Stronger" at the top of my lungs multiple  times in my car. Even so, there is something that sometimes feel a little false about this saying.

I recently read a twist on the well-known saying that struck a nerve; "What doesn't kill you gives you unhealthy coping mechanisms and a dark sense of humor." I laughed out loud because it was true of me for so long. I still have a dark sense of humor, because humor is a way to survive pain. In high school, when I was living with an emotionally abusive and mentally ill mother, I said my life could have been a great sitcom, albeit a somewhat dark comedy that probably would now be on HBO. :)

Personally, I am learning that those things that almost killed me (emotionally, spiritually, & physically) eventually make me stronger, but first made me less willing to admit my weakness, and try live in my own existing strength.

Maybe as Christians we should rethink this phrase.
Here is my suggestion:
"What doesn't kill you, makes you deeply grateful there is someone much stronger."


"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me"
1 Cor 12:9

Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Fight Winter Blues while Homeschooling


The key to fighting winter blues is to start the fight EARLY before they begin!

LIGHT THERAPY
 It's mid October and that time of year again in Northern Indiana, time to break out my HappyLight during morning coffee! My doctor told me to begin light therapy close to Halloween. I followed his advice 2 years ago, and felt a difference in my normal winter blues.  Last year I waited until Christmas,  and it was too late.  Seriously,  order now and help winter blues before they begin!!!

 I use my light 20 minutes to an hour each morning as I drink my coffee, read my teacher's manual, and read my Bible. Sometimes I even keep it on as I begin our Together Time, and my kids benefit too. My husband starting using it during his devotionals, and he said he noticed a difference too.

The light wakes you up, and tells your brain it's morning. It helps maintain healthy circadian rhythms through the long dark days of winter. Without the light, I tend to stay up later, and sleep in later, leading to lethargy and depression.

INTENTIONAL FRIENDSHIPS
Winter can be a beautiful time for solitude, but solitude is not the same as isolation.  Isolation is a dangerous place to be. Make sure that you are not becoming isolated during the long gray months of winter. No relationship is based on accident.  We must be intentional about the friendships in our lives.

Many people ask how my kids make friends.  My answer is usually that my kids have to actually learn what adult friendship look like, their friends are not delivered to them by proximity.  We have to be intentional with getting out and spending time with friends.  It is quality time, versus quantity.

The same intentional mindset must be made for Homeschooling moms.  I don't care if you are an introvert or raging extrovert, no man is an island.  We are designed for relationship.

Some ideas could include, a monthly or weekly playdate with a few other homeschool moms.  Don't worry about school that day, throw the lessons out, and focus on relationships.

EXERCISE
Yes, we all know this one, but it is so important.  This can go hand in hand with intentional relationships. Find another homeschool mom and make them your walking friend.  It doesn't take hours of strength training to keep up your spirits in the winter.  Just walk a mile or two slowly with a  friend a few times a week.
"If you want to go fast, go by yourself.  If you want to go far, go with a friend."
Maybe find a homeschool friend with a teenager, and you can pay them to watch the kids while you walk the mall.  Just stay active.


I hope this helps someone.  Fight the winter blues before they begin!





You may also be interested in:
Isolation versus Solitude

What is a homeschool co-op?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Banana Oatmeal Raisin Cookies- Dairy & Egg Free


INGREDIENTS
1 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 cup sugar
1⁄3 cup oil, plus 1 teaspoon oil
1 banana, mashed
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1⁄2 teaspoons cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 1⁄4 cups oats
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup raisins

DIRECTIONS
Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In a separate bowl mix together the brown sugar, sugar, oil, and water.
Add the banana.
Stir in the flour mixture and mix well.
Stir in the oats.
Stir in raisins.
Chill in fridge for hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Drop cookies by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet.
Cook for 13 minutes until done (they should be a bit browned on the bottom).