Friday, December 18, 2015

EBOOK: "Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter" Review

     With Fall and Winter holidays here and ideas waning for creative ways to keep the Natives from getting restless, I was excited to be able to use and review the ebook "Homespun Holidays: Fall and Winter" from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.
     This book has over 80 pages full of recipes, craft ideas, creative writings and family fun to help ease you into the holidays and keep your family connecting throughout the busyness.

Gingerbread Pancakes!
This creative E-Book is sure to inspire you from cover to cover, with the click of your mouse.  It has:
  •  Tradition building activities to connect you to each other and the Lord throughout the holidays.  
  • Decorating tips, tricks and ideas.
  • Party and Event hosting.
  • Book reviews and Holiday writings
  • Crafts, gifts and ornaments!
  • Jesse Tree instructions

     One of the things I like the most is that everything is "normal stuff".  Does that make sense?  I do not need to go find some weird food ingredient I have never heard of, or buy art supplies that cost me a fortune.  Everything is normal, comfortable, frugal and fun!  I LOVED that as I flipped through it I saw many things that older kids could do with younger kids too!  Not everything is "Mom needed" and that gives the older kids something to "take ownership of" and do with younger siblings!  Perfect!

Here are some of the things we really liked (but there is wayyyyyy more stuff than what is listed).  Some we tried this year, some are being pegged for next year.

Caramel Popcorn!
Fun things to eat:

  • Texas Tortilla Soup
  • Autumn Soup
  • Brown sugar Squares
  • Ginnys's apple-pear-raisin pie
  • Gingerbread pancakes
  • Caramel Corn
  • Celebration English Toffee
  • Chocolate Chip cookie dough dip
*Bonus!  Recipes are printable!

Fun things to make:
  • Scarecrow Welcome Sign
  • I'm Thankful for YOU: treat bag
  • Painted Windows
  • Trashbag Wreath
  • Handmade Nativity
  • Jesse Tree
  • Holiday Pinatas
    "Trash Bag Wreath"

Fun things to read and/or do:

  • Thankful Bulletin Board
  • Thanksgiving ABC's
  • List of "Fun Thanksgiving Books"
  • The 8,000 Calorie Poem
  • Christmas Reason
  • T'was the night before open house (doing a holiday party)
  • The Shepherds Supper

    • making our trash bag wreath
           I love that there is a wide variety of things in one spot!  As the holiday "doll-drums" set in, I can pursue this book, find something fun to do/make/bake and become the hero of the afternoon!  
           My kids enjoyed it too!  The caramel corn was super yummy; we added that to our "tree decorating night" tradition.  
           My older girls have been busy baking and trying different recipes and we all have been participating in the sweet and savory rewards of their efforts.  
           My little guys especially liked the "Trash Bag Wreath"... so did my olders.  They did most of the work.  It was fun listening to them cut, tie and talk about the funny Christmas movies we've been watching! 
           NOTE:  On the Wreaths: We totally just used "walmart bags" and it turned out great!
      Wreath Queen

           We found this little gem of a book a little late for thanksgiving but have our list ready for the next Holiday Season!  I personally am really looking forward to the "I'm Thankful for you: treat bag".  I love when there are things we find to help us foster gratitude in our children and encourage their little hearts.  This will be PERFECT to do just that!  

           This book would go well with anyone wanting to take a break from normal school stuff but not totally ditch school altogether.  The book list and craft ideas are perfect for tying the holidays into learning in a low key way!
           If you do not have time to pinterest and would like a "Holiday go-to" then I think you would enjoy this book.  There is just enough in it that you have variety but not so much that you are overwhelmed and overloaded.

      I reviewed this product for the "Old School House Magazine: Review Crew".  Find other fun things in The School House Shop!

      Thursday, November 26, 2015


      2 of my girls entered a poetry contest!  The poems with the MOST LIKES gets the prize!  Will you please vote by "liking" their poems! 


      The names of our poems are:



      Happiness Village

      GRATEFUL (say in one breath)

      Fairy Tale Land

      The Jester

      Monday, November 23, 2015

      Falling in LOVE with the HOMESCHOOL JOURNALS

           So, I am kinda in love with these things.  I have a definite issue.  It doesn't help that everytime I think, "Ooh, The Thinking Tree should do this!", I literally wake up that next day and there is a post on their facebook page that they have done just that!
           I have also been immensely blessed by seeing how my growing knowledge of these books have blessed and encouraged other as well.
      (for more reviews of books individually, click here)

      How I began

           I started off by giving every kid a journal based on which ones I thought would be right.  I almost nailed it!  I had two switcher-oo's I had to do but that's it.  Everyone is happy.  I told me kids that we would be using them as a supplement to everything else we are doing and to try and do a little each day as time allows.  This has worked well.  We went to the library, everyone picked a hoard of books and we toted it all home.
      CH10 (almost 11) working in her Creative Girls Journal
      at the library.  Her favorite colored pencils to use
      are the prisma color art pencils!

      I am amazed daily at how much my kids are loving this and are enjoying their learning.  They are all pulling their journals out on their own.  It's a very happy thing for them to do.
      Working in his Eclectic Learner
      journal at the library.
      fun schooling spelling journal
            I have entered into their learning as they invite me to color with them and we talk about the things they did and learned that day.  We just relax together and color.  Sounds kinda lame, and silly, but oooh how we are enjoying it!!  Even my older boys, 12 and almost 14, will play down the coloring but then there they are with their books open saying "Hey Mom, you can color this part with me if you like".  I should get a picture because it's quite comical looking with me and at least 6 or 7 kids sprawled out on the floor and I am making sure I color a bit in everyones journal!
            These journals are sooooo much more than coloring though!!!!!  It's a place were each child can track their own learning journey: the books they like, the subjects they are into, the stuff that jumps out to them!  The pages (in no particular order) consist of things like:
      • date/calendar
      • reading
      • color page
      • nature drawing
      • book review
      • logic games
      • math practice
      • picture studies
      • emotions
      • copywork
      • things that inspire you
      • film reviews
      • geography
      • news and events
      • draw anything
           There is enough variety that the learning stays fun and stress-free.  No matter if you use them as the spine of your curriculum or as a supplement, the learning is happening the whole time!

      Picking Journals

           This has been a little confusing for me BUT you can not really mess up.  The journals (unless listed otherwise) are for students 2nd grade on up, who have a good handle of reading and writing on their own (even if the spelling and hand writing is not good).  The coloring pages, pictures, writing prompts, and logic games vary a little from book to book, but are more or less the same.
      D6 (almost 7) and J8 got the same journals
      "1st,2nd, and 3rd grade fun schooling".  They sure think it's fun!
          The instructions are all very short, sweet and to the point.  Options are there to EITHER draw or write, on most things. And most of the writing things are small enough or arranged creatively enough that it doesn't seem like a lot.  So things are easy and varied but not so different that most of the books are fairly interchangeable.

           Everything I have read from the author and other bloggers is to "pick the cover you like", HOWEVER some of the journals have some very specific "labels" on them and this confused me.  It was unclear if they were all the same format with different labels or different formats and labels didn't matter or, something else?  Scratch head.......  (move on to the next section now)

      Some journals are "labeled" specifically

           Some of the journals are labeled "asperger/adhd/dyslexic/christian/unschooling/etc" and it can be hard to know what to get when looking at all the labels.   MOST of the journals are designed for everyone, but different labels are used just for marketing, such as "eclectic/creative/unschooling/etc".       That is why you can just pick out the artwork on the cover you like and go with it!  Others though are not as broad, such as the "aspergers" or the "dyslexic" journals.  They have some very specific
      A10 using the "eclectic journal".
      Reading and writing have not come
      easily to him.  He loves the drawing
      option and has taken the initiative
      to do more writing on his own!
      differences in them in order to work best with children who have those unique things going on.  Now, this doesn't mean that you can not use them with kids who don't travel that specific path.  In fact, I have found all the dyslexia stuff to be super helpful with my non dyslexic children!  It's just good to know in light of the whole "pick out the cover you like best" advice.

           Here are some of the differences in the journals:
      • Asperger journal: incorporates facial expression evaluating pages, and a focus on inventions and interesting objects.
      • ADHD journal: has a focus on neatness, fonts and professions.
      • Younger Aged journals: these are all marked.  Usuallu by age like "4-7" or grade "1st-3rd".
      • Christian journals: will have verses and pictures that will reflect the Christian Faith.
      • "Seasonal Themed" journals: the art work and prompts go along with the season.
      • Secular/in general/multi marketing labeled: these would include the rest ;)  Their labels would include things such as "Charlotte Mason", "un-schooling", "creative girls", "adventurous boys", etc.  These journals really have no major differences or "focus".  There are differences of course but they fall under the broader things and you really can just pick a cover you like.  (the seasonal ones could have been placed here too)

      H14 loves her "Spring" journal
       So, I guess, when picking out journals, pick the covers you like!  Just know if your child likes the cover on the "Asperger" journal, it will be a little different than if they had picked the "eclectic" one! Eventually I will do a post on which ones I think are better for older or younger kids as there are some differences in the pictures and some do present more "older/younger".  For the most part though, there are not too many differences to make it that big of a deal.
      Also, the author just came out with some "grade specific" journals.  I do not have those yet and do not know how they compare.  Eventually I will have them and I will tell you all about them.

      Another blogger has a great post breaking them down more.  I thought I would link her up here.  =)

      Other journals  from The Thinking Tree

           I have had the privilege of being able to get my hands on MANY of The Thinking Tree products.  Like anything in life, something you love and some things you can leave, and that list will be different depending on who you are asking!
           Overall, I am pretty much in love with everything!  Some of my favorites being:
      • Reading Time:  repeating pages of "mini book" report journal pages
      •  Picturing the Past:  One of the most beautiful art books I have every seen!  Made even better by little journal prompts.
      • Spelling journals:  I have the Spelling Time,150 misspelled words AND the  Fun-Schooling Journal for 5+.  I love the "out of the box" approach to spelling and my kids are all responding so well!
      • Film Study Journal: repeating pages of "mini film" review journal pages.  Great if you add in films often.
      • How to Draw series.
           I have so many different things here that I can not include a review for all of them in one post!  I see lots of blogging in my future on these!  One thing I am really excited about is that I just order the Dyslexia series to use with my NON DYSLEXIC kids!  I think this will be fun and interesting!  I will be starting that in January!

      What I love, What I am seeing in my kids, Things I appreciate:

      • The kids really do like them.  Even the older boys (though they play it down).  The kids are happy about the work, like the variety and that they are able to take charge of some of their own learning!  This is "mom not required" stuff!
      • I am learning things about my kids!  For instance: 
      A10 is always in his journal.  All of a sudden, he loves learning!
      He is using the eclectic journal.
      1.  My oldest son, I think, has mild dyslexia.  He didn't become mine until 4 years ago so there are things I am still learning about him.  He was still in the public school until last year and things were just missed.  It makes sense though, as he also is a slow processor, and (until homeschooling) has struggled in school.  At 13 1/2 he has more or less "grown out of it" and reads and writes fine BUT I had a lot of questions to ask my hubby when I saw that on his math practice page he drew (3d drawings) 3 numbers backwards.  Apparently he had that problem when he was younger and it was brushed off.  Well hello!  As his mom and teacher, this explains a lot about him! 
      2. This same child is MORE COMFORTABLE AND OPEN in his writing when left to consider things on his own and take his time then when feeling pressured by an assignment.
      3. My 12 year old son approaches his coloring like a counseling session lol.  If I color with him, he talks about the deepest things in his heart.
      • Their learning is more varied.  We are using this as a supplement but WHAT A SUPPLEMENT!  I have been super impressed and somewhat shocked by the different things THEY WANTED to learn about.  I am so glad they have this outlet.
      • They can't wait to work in them!
      • They are taking ownership of their learning.
      • My 10 year old son (pictured in above collage) is on fire for learning.  Reading and writing have not been his strong suit and it has been a struggle.  With his journal he feels no pressure and has been applying himself more!
      • The balance is just right between academic and fun!
      • The kids can explore what they want and try different things out.
      • I get to enter in through discussion, coloring with them and spending time looking through their journals.  Just asking questions based on what I see on the page has opened up many great conversations!
      • The are excited to see what the other kids are learning about.
        Fun Schooling spelling
      • Um, hello film reviews.  This might be the highlight of the journal.  Being allowed to watch a short documentary or how-to on one of their subjects!  Plus other kids will watch with the one who is doing the page and then everyone learns!
      • They keep getting more creative.  On some of the blank pages or "do anything" or a coloring page with a blank area in the middle, they all kind of just spaced out.  "I don't know what to do" was heard a lot but a month in and these kids are adding onto the drawings, writing poems, drawing pictures of their family, writing themselves notes and encouraging things.  Sometimes even sad things when something in their day is not quite right.  It's allowing them to self reflect!
      • It's connecting them to the world.  The world news/geography stuff gets them involved with whats going on around them but doesn't overload them.
      Enough about what I think though!  What are THEY SAYING??

      • C12b "I like the film study pages because it's interesting to find things related to the books I am reading."
      • A10b "I like all the pages.  I do like the math pages because I draw 3D shapes on it.  They are fun because you can learn what you want to learn."
      • J8b "I like them because there is lots of coloring and the logic games make me think about things." 
      • H14g "It's really fun to do.  When I am bored I work in it because it is so fun to do.  I like being able to learn things on my own personal level"
      • M13g "I like how creative it is.  My favorite page is the film study because you can pick your topic and watch things and then compare that to what you have read."
      • Ch10.11g "I like my journal because I can learn about what I want to learn about."
      • D6.11b "I like my journal because it's fun and I can color cool stuff and learn words and read."
      • E5b "My journal is my school.  I color and do words and stuff.  Fun stuff."
      • JO13b "I like them because they are easy and fun.  My favorite page is the film study because I can watch short videos on what I am learning about."
      • F16g "I am using a planner and it's helping me to organize my time.  I like the creative parts too because I am so visual that I may not remember what I wrote down until I remember what I colored!"
           We could not be happier with these journals!  Do get some for your kids and let me know what YOU think!

      (for more reviews of books individually, click here)


      Sunday, November 22, 2015


      ...............................................WE DO!!!!

      With black friday and cyber Monday coming up, everyone is looking for who is having the sales.  I will update here as I run across thing.

      QUEENS is having one of the BEST DEALS I have ever seen them do!

      Here is a link to another blog with a TON posted!
      CLICK ME

      Thursday, November 12, 2015

      Approaching the holidays while homeschooling.

           It never fails, you finally get into your homeschool groove and then, BAM, the holidays are upon us!!!  What is suppose to be the "merriest time of the year" can quickly turn into the "weeks that nightmares are made of".
           Most of the issues with holiday time is because of time itself.  Mom does not have enough of it!  You need time to school, time to run the house, time to decorate, time to cook, time to shop, time to attend holiday functions, you need more time!  So how do we get more out of our 24 hours?  Strategy!

      1. PARE DOWN:  take a look at your school load.  Where can you ease up a bit?  Maybe combine a few history lessons?  Do 2 science applications instead of 4 each week?  Half days?  There are lots of areas where you can pare down IF you are WILLING.  Remember that your "bulk" schooling months are still ahead of you.
      2. MAKE LESS MESS:  Use paper plates, prep and use some freezer meals in disposable cookware, cut down on laundry by having more pajamas days.  Need more drastic measures?  Take all extra toys away and leave out only as much as you want to clean up.  Let each kid "pack for the holidays" 4 outfits each and a small tote full of toys.  It's amazing how much time you have when food, laundry and toys are cut down.
      3. STREAMLINE YOUR DAY:  set more of a focus on your "best" part of the day.  If you focus on only schooling for that portion of the day and shift the chores you normally do during that time to another part of the day, you can get school done really quick!  Plus you have pare down school and are making less mess then there really should be less "chores" to do anyway.
      4. UTILIZE YOUR TEAM:  Do you have some older kids who can help, what about Hubby or Grandparents?  Can anyone else help with some younger kid lessons, what about chores?  If you have made things really easy and a "no brainer" then it makes it easier for others to pitch in!
      5. MAKE PLANS FOR FUN!:  everyone likes to have a good time!  Add in those fun things that make the holidays memorable.  Baking cookies, singing songs, homemade crafts, afternoon tea.  A little bit of fun goes a longggggg way!
      6. PURPOSE YOUR TIME: Now that you have some time to work with, be purposeful with it.  No one likes a stressed out Mama!  If you plug in the "Holiday To-Do's" in your open time each day, you will be able to stay on top of things.  Make a list, grab a calendar, get it down on paper in a visible place.
      7. TRASH THE GUILT: Guilt about school, guilt about presents, guilt about the cookies you didn't make.  GUILT.  Just trash it.  Know that you prolly won't get everything done but that won't kill Christmas.  A down trodden/bad attitude however just might.
      8. ENJOY IT: Enjoy this time of the year.  Relish the break in school and embraces the fun business of the Holidays!  TEACH your children, through your right spirit, what the holidays are all about.  Make sure your outlook on the season is correct.  Little eyes and ears are all about, shaping their views by yours.  Teach them to enjoy this time of year by enjoying it yourself!
      On the "living it out" side, here are how some homeschool families actually schedule it:
      • Take off the month of December and make up that time second semester by doubling up and/or paring some things down.
      • work ahead during the fall and take off during the holidays.
      • Pare down.  Don't get off track completely but only do what is necessary. 
      • School on the days it works and don't worry about the others. 
      •  Do some school during the summer and take off the week of Thanksgiving through January first.
      • School by doing Unit studies about the Holidays.  Keep going where you left off in Janurary and don't worry about catching up or cut some things out in order to still end on time.
      • School year round and just take off when you feel like it.
      Personally I usually do one of the first 3 bullets (or a combination thereof).  Traditionally its the "take off and catch up by paring down" method.  Fall time is also canning season so we usually can not work ahead.  I normally take off from Thanksgiving until January as well.  We do A LOT of school Jan-April =)  
      Now that I many older, independent learners, I have them do school on days it works.  If I am out running errands or Christmas shopping, they might as well do school =)  The older kids can do everything without me with a few tweaks.  So, I have them keep up on things, I school the younger kids as it works and they do independent things as well and then in January, we hunker down and get'er done!

      Hoping your holiday time is a wonderful, blessed time of the year.  Filled with the JOY of The Lord and not burdened by the stresses of this world.

      Saturday, October 31, 2015


      Recently I stumbled upon these GREAT "Do it yourself homeschool journals" from Dyslexia Games.  Sarah Brown, the author, specializes is Dyslexia Therapy.  She is a homeschooling mama to 10 (like me!) and started creating these journals to  help guide learning in her home and then decided to share them with others!
        These journals can be used as the base of your childs learning or in edition to (which is how I plan to use them).  On my blog I will be doing a LOT of reviews and give aways with these journals.  I bought a BUNCH for my kids and then talked with the author to do some reviews (Because I was THAT IMPRESSED), she offered to send me some more things to keep and review and even more things to giveaway to all you all!!!!  Talk about generous!  Anyway, Here is a preview of some of the things I have to stir your interest!
        One last thing:  I am not the only one impressed and excited!  My Kids CAN NOT WAIT to dig in to these journals!  They are excited about filling them in, tracking their learning with their own interests independently and just having "FUN SCHOOLING" as my 12 year old son called it after looking through his journal!  So FEAST YOUR EYES and hope over to the facebook page as well!

      About the books:
           Now your child can turn any stack of books into a homeschooling curriculum. This handbook is an activity book and daily journal that allows your student to have a customized education without creating a lot of extra work for parents.
      Choose the Journal with your child's favorite cover to get started, they are all a little different on the inside. We have 20 to choose from!
      We have over 20 Homeschooling Journals to choose from! Start with your child's favorite cover, all the books are a little different on the inside so you can use them year round.
      Many students are more interested in real books than in textbooks! This is an excellent way to help your students to develop their talents, interests and deepen their knowledge of topics that are meaningful to them. Just visit the library and bring home 6 to 9 great books!
      Each workbook includes 30 Lessons, with 10 pages for each lesson, providing four hours of guided learning time.
      This homeschooling handbook was created by Sarah Janisse Brown, a dyslexia therapist and game designer with ten children. Sarah has over 25 years of homeschooling experience.
      This curriculum handbook is wonderful for busy families. If you have babies and toddlers who need a lot of attention the older children can use this journal for all their subjects!
      This workbook is appropriate for dyslexic students, it includes Art & Logic Games to help with dyslexia, and uses the Open Dyslexic Font for easy reading.
      This book can be used as a handbook for: Delight Directed Learning, Documenting Your Unschooling Journey,Charlotte Mason Inspired Homeschooling, Eclectic Homeschooling, Classical Homeschooling and Fun-Schooling.

      Want to read more about these journals?  Go here!

      Monday, October 5, 2015

      Help Zoie!!!!

      This is my 3rd daughters BEST FRIEND! 

      We live in a very small town and there are no other girls around 

      here that share this part of Zoie's life. This conference would be 

      HUGE for her and her family! Zoie has scoliosis due to being 

      micro preemie. Please consider helping her reach her goal 

      and share, share, share!

      Sunday, October 4, 2015

      5 days of overnight, crockpot breakfast's

      Okay folks!  Here we go!  We have been talking about this on the "it's a good full" facebook page!  
      Here is our menu and ingredients needed!  I will update THIS POST every day with recipes, updates and pictures!  And, um, I am not really a measurer, I am a "dumper" so bare with me on directions stuff.  Anything with amounts indicates "normal family" sizes.  I will double on my side to fill up my crock pot.  So if you are a family or say 5 people, you prolly won't need to adjust =)  If you are more, double and or just fill up the picking crockpot like I do until you are satisfied =) !!!

      To EAT on the day listed you need to make the meal THE NIGHT BEFORE =)

      monday: pumpkin pie oatmeal

      tuesday: rice cereal (or pudding, whatevs =) 

      wednesday: French Toast 

      thursday: breakfast cobbler

      friday: tater tot egg casserole.


      1/2 a can (or a full can, whatever)  canned pumpkin

      oatmeal (doesnt matter what kind)
      pumkin pie spices
      nuts (optional)

      Rice Cereal/pudding

      1-2 cups dry rice. (1 cup will make about 4 cups cooked so adjust to the amount you need)
      8-12 Milk OR water.  I have done both and have no had a really issue with one or the other.  I will be doing water. (you can use coconut or almond milk) 
      about 3/4 sugar
       ground nutmeg
      2 teaspoons grated orange zest (only if you want it orange-y flavored)
      2 eggs (optional if you want to add some protein)


      1 or two loaves of some type of break.  I used sourdough because me make it.  Can you french.  I do not recommend sliced bread but many people use it and like it just fine.  Stale-ish bread or "harder" bread is totally use able!

      about a cup or two of milk
      about 4-8 eggs (really it's that flexible)


      breakfast cobbler

      4ish apples, sliced, and peeled if desired 

      2 cups granola (gluten-free if needed)
      1/4 cup honey
      melted coconut oil (can substitute butter)

      Tater tot, egg casserole
      (8 servings as is- I just throw "more ish" in to make, well, more)

      1 (30 oz) pkg Tater Tots
      6 oz diced Canadian bacon or some reg bacon or sausage or whatever
      2 onions, chopped
      2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
      1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese (if you don't have this- don't worry about it)
      12 eggs
      1 c. milk
      4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
      1 tsp salt
      1/2 tsp pepper


      OVERNIGHT OATS =)   (pumpkin pie oatmeal)

      So, this is pretty easy.  I snaged all these pictures from my post on "feeding the people" so some of the pictures do not line up with the ingredients.  It DOES NOT MATTER, just go with it =)


      • crock pot
      • oats
      • 1/2-1 can of PUMPKIN ( or applesauce or canned fruit if you do not want pumpkin)
      • optional: raisins or craisins or berries or nuts, if you want
      • spices like PUMPKIN PIE SPICE or whatever.
      • vanilla
      • sugar if needed (if using applesauce or canned fruit you may not need any)

      • Dump in your pumpkin, fruit, spices, and any other add ins, like nuts or raisins.
      • If you are doing something like peaches, you will want to take some food scissors and cut them up smaller.
      • pour in a dash of vanilla


      Dump in a bunch of oats.  You really can't go wrong here.  Just don't fill it all the way up!
      (DO NOT add water before oats.  Always oats first)

      ADD Water until the Oats are covered and then stir!
      You want the  Oats "stew like"  if its too "soupy" add some more oats.  If too "chunky" add some more water =)

      Taste the liquid and if its not sweet enough, add some sweetner =)
      NOW COOK IT!

      Before you go to bed, turn your crock pot on the lowest setting.  On my Crock Pot, That is WARM.


      Put the lid on it and let it do its thing.  You will be ready to eat this yumminess in the morning!

      (I usually turn my CP on warm around 10 p.m.  we eat it when we are ready in the morning.  7 am if we have to be out of the house but more like 9 on a regular day)

      RICE CEREAL/rice pudding    


      • crock pot
      • 2-4 eggs (I fed 10 kids and used 4)
      • 1-3 cups rice (I used 3 for 10 kids)
      • 3/4- 1 1/2 sugar (I used 1 1/2)
      • raisins
      • cinnamon and nutmeg
      • orange zest (optional)
      •  8-12 cups of water or milk (8-12 normal, def 12 if making it to feed as many as I am- lol)

      I poured my rice in first BUT normally I put all the wet stuff in and mix it and then pour in the rice.  NO WORRIES!  It just meant I did it in a bowl but for future reference, just change that ;)

      We continue....

      pour rice in

      In a bowl add and blend (i used my stick blender):

      • eggs 
      • milk or water
      • vanilla (I did two cap fulls)
      • sugar
      • spices:  I am "very generous" with my spices.  I might have done about a tsp (or more) each.  I just shake the stuff in untill I think it looks good ;)

       NOW, add your milk or water.  I add water as the rice cooking creates it's own "rice milk" so why use so much cows milk.  Water will do!
      At this point you can either:
      A)call it good and add other "goodies" later or
      B)add the "goodies" now.  That is what I do 'cause, yo, whose got time for that in the morning!

      I threw in about a cup of raisins (because that's how much was left in my raisin bag) and stir once more.  There will seem to be A LOT of water in your pot.  This is what you want!  This way, you will not have dry burned rice.  Instead you will have a creamy bowl of happiness!

      Set your crock pot on LOW (not warm this time).  It will need 7-9 ish hours to cook.
      I let mine cook for 9 1/2 hours.  (10 p.m- 7:30 a.m.)

       I scooped out our rice cereal into bowls, added some milk (because I can.... and it sounded good) and fed it to the minions.  They LOVE rice cereal and this is one of their favorite ways to have it.  "DELISH!!!", they cry from their seats in the "Corey Cafe".


      (note: because I could careless about precise measurements with the water; sometimes my rice cereal is more firm- like rice and sometimes its creamier like the pudding.  It taste great either way and my kids love it no matter what.)



      • One or two loaves of bread.  I use sourdough but any will do.  I do not like slice bread but I know other people who use it and like it.  Stale or hard breads work too. 
      • 1-3 cups of milk depending on how much you are making.  Figure about 1 cup per loaf.
      • 2 caps of vanilla
      • 4-8 eggs (really doesn't matter
      • 1- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
      • Cinnamon (to your liking)
      • oh and non stick spray

      **Spray the inside of your crock pot
      **Rip your bread up and throw it in the crock pot.  If using sliced bread you can just layer it.

      I only used one of my loaves because 3 of my kids were not going to be here for breakfast the next day and my loaves were pretty good sized.

      **In a separate bowl add and blend:

      • your eggs
      • your milk
      • your sugar
      • your spices

      ** Now pour the liquid into the crock pot, over the bread.
      You prolly wont see the liquid above the bread- THIS IS CORRECT!
      Push the bread down into the liquid.  It should kinda "bounce back up" but don't worry about that, it's suppose to.  Be careful not to "mash the bread".

      ** Put the lid on and set to warm (NOT LOW).  I started mine at 10 p.m. and turned it off at 8:30 a.m.  (we ate late).

      **TA-DAH!  French toast!  I added sliced bananas and pecans to the dished out happiness and drizzled syrup on top.  Kids ate in breakfast bliss!!

      MAKE ON Wednesday for THURSDAY:
      Breakfast Apple Cobbler!!!

      You will need:

      • 4-8 apples depending on size and amount you want to make.
      • 2-5 cups of granola
      • 1/4-1/2 cup of honey
      • 2-4 table spoons melted coconut oil (you could skip or use butter as well)
      • cinnamon and/or other baking spices

      First, you will need to cut up your apples into "chunks" not diced; chunky, chunky.
      The amount depends on how much apples you want to use/make.  I need enough for 10 kids.  I filled my crock pot about 3/4 of the way up. 

      next put in a bowl your:

      • melted coconut oil (I used about 5 tbs). 
      • helping of cinnamon
      • honey (I used 1/2 cup)
      • and granola.  Mine was chunky and home made so I used 5 cups.  (The cute redhead in the pic made the granola earlier in the day)

      Pour the mixture on top of your apples and pat down to an even consistency.

      Put LID ON

      Set heat to LOW (not warm)

      let cook about 8-10 hours.  I turned mine on at 10 p.m. and we ate at 8 a.m.

      We decided to top our Apple Cobbler with home made yogurt.  It was fine without it, we just thought it sounded good!

      The apples cook down and the granola blend in with it into breakfast spectacular!

      NOTE:  if you have very sweet granola, go light on the honey =)

      TATER-TOT breakfast casserole! 

      1 (30 oz) pkg Tater Tots
      6 oz diced Canadian bacon- or whatever meat you want!  Bacon, sausage, ham, ect.
      2 medium onions chopped
      2 cups of shredded cheese
      1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
      12 eggs
      1 cups of milk
      4 tbs flour
      salt and pepper to taste.

      FIRST:  Start cooking any MEAT that needs to be cooking.  In my case, I needed to cook sausage.
      WHILE that is cooking chop up your onion and anything else that you are adding that needs chopping.  I added some black forest ham lunch meat I needed to use up

      AS SOON AS ALL MEAT IS COOKED and ALL THINGS ARE CHOPPED you get to START THE LAYERS ;)  You can make as many layers as you want but make at least 2 layers.

      Tater tot

      In a separate bowl add and then mix:

      12 eggs
      1 cup of milk
      salt and pepper
      4 tbs flour
      I used my stick blender to mix


      so, you have some options, they are:
      LOW for 6-8 hours OR
      WARM for 9-12 hours THEN HIGH for 30min-1 hour depending on how much more cooking you need.  (This is what I do)

      I turned my CP on warm last night at about 9:30.  At 7 a.m. is looked a little more on the "wet" side so I kicked it on HIGH for about 45 minutes.

      When the food looks solid (use a spoon and scoop a bit to check) but is still moist and cheese liquidy on top, it is done!

      If you fill your crockpot up, it will easily feed 12ish people.  If you want to feed less people, do not fill the crock pot all the way up and decrease your eggs/milk.


      That concludes this week of eats!!  Did you like this little mini series?  If YES, LE ME KNOW!!!