Monday, January 30, 2012

My Chili

This weekend I entered into a chili cook-off and won 2nd place! It was so fun. I had a slight crock pot malfunction so my chili was only warm and did not get hot. The judges later told me that had my chili been warmer in temperature that I would have won 1st place. There were so many different kinds of chili's but one of my favorites was a white chili with shredded chicken. So so good. Jackson ate about 5 bowls of different kinds of chili.

Jordan is our resident ground beef browner and she did a great job. One judge told me that my meat had a great flavor. We don't eat a lot of red meat, but for chili I use real hamburger from a little store that has the freshest meat in town.

The judges were so serious. One of them claimed that he could tell at what time in the cooking process the beans were actually put into the pot. He was a bit critical of all of the chili's, but I don't care because 2nd place was a surprise for me.

In response to Mom #1: Mea culpa!

 It really is a very simple recipe:
This makes a very large batch. Can be halved or quartered.

5.5 lbs of real hamburger
9 cups or 80 oz dark red kidney beans
4 cups diced tomatoes
4 6oz cans tomato paste
1/4 cup minced celery
1/2 cup diced or minced onion
1/8 cup diced chili peppers
LAWRY'S® Seasoned Salt
garlic powder
black pepper
cayenne pepper

Brown hamburger with onions, Lawry's, pepper, pinch of garlic, pinch of cayenne. Drain about 3/4 of the fat off. Prepare your beans as you normally would or if you use canned, rinse well and add to hamburger along with all other vegetables. With the tomato paste I added about 1-2 cans of hot water per can or until you have your chili as soupy or thick as you like. Season to taste with garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Simmer on low for 30-40 minutes.

I think one of the things that helped me is that I made my chili on Saturday afternoon and refrigerated what I was going to take to the cook-off so it sat all night giving the ingredients time to mingle and get to know each other very well. ~Smile~ 

We like our chili with Cheez-It® crackers. I did hear from 1 of the judges that he did not like the crackers as they took away from the flavor of the chili. 

That's it. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spell the Word: F-I-R-S-T-P-L-A-C-E

Our home school group had their annual spelling bee on Friday and Jackson and Jordan won 1st place in their groups!! James placed 3rd in his group and Jeanna received a "participant" ribbon. It was so exciting because Jackson was the smallest (not sure if he was the youngest, but I know he was younger than most of the others in his group) and he was so confident. All the parents were so gracious in clapping as it got down to the last two boys and when he won, people were shouting, "Way to go, Jackson!" and shaking his hand as he walked from the platform down to where I was sitting. Jordan and her component did so well and you could tell they had both studied long and hard. Jordan said the little girl had told her at some point, "You know this is gonna take all night 'cause I'm am not gonna loose" LOL! It was funny because all of the words that had Jordan worried like turquoise and atmospheric were words that the other girl kept getting. In the end, the moderator used every word on the list and the girls tied for 1st place. I thought it was going to go on forever because her group had over 500 words on their list.

It was great fun and I am proud of them all. The pictures I took were horrible as the lighting was not great. I was also holding a wiggly 3 years old who clapped long and hard for each child ~Smile~

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just For the Record...

I did not let the kids eat ice cream cones and carrot sticks for dinner! LOL!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


We would like to send out a very special Thank You to Ms. Kim. Yesterday she donated 36 rolls of toilet paper to Entertaining Angels Personal Needs Closet. She is a faithful donator and we appreciate her  kindness so very much.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Round 2 of First Grade Story Teller

This is my 8th year of homeschooling and my 2nd time teaching first grade. I have used the same curriculum for the whole time and while my Eighth grader is growing tired of it, it has worked out very well for the boys. (Next year she will be doing something different, but we are not sure what that will be yet)

I remember when James started writing his stories and could not wait to post them here. Here is one his earlier ones. It is that time again to learn to write short stories and Jackson has gotten off to a pretty good start. Here are two samples of his story writing skills

He is still reversing some letters in words, but it is getting so much better. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mom Cake & January Board

Started back to school today and it was a good day with no tears. 8th grade's computer is still in the shop so she worked on some essays. I must admit that writing is not one of our strong areas here so I try to sneak in as many practice opportunities as possible.

Jordan loves to bake and surprised me with a chocolate cake the other day using some of the cake decorations that she got for Christmas. She wanted me to show it to you all.

I did January's bulletin board in kinda of a boring way, but it got done.

The preschooler starts back up with speech this week. It is somewhat of a joke as he sits in his class and kinda mumbles and parrots the teacher some and then as soon as we start walking back to the car, he starts talking up a storm, freely and about everything, including bossing people around and telling us what he wants and won't do! Little stinker. LOL!