N is for North Carolina

N is for North Carolina

While trying to come up with something to write about on the letter N for the blogging through the alphabet series, the most obvious was right in front of me. North Carolina! I live in Eastern North Carolina and we have been to many places around the state. I want to show some places we have been in a sort of wordless Wednesday type post. Enjoy!

North Carolina Zoo

USS North Carolina Battleship

Wright Brothers Memorial

Aquariums (we have been to all three)

Billy Graham Library

Treasures on the beach

I have written several posts on our trips across the state. Check them out!

I am linking up with:

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up



M is for Meals

M is for Meals

I try to make a menu plan each week, but some weeks are more difficult than others. Some weeks, I go through the freezer and pantry and plan from there so I don’t have to by much from the store.
Some of our go-to meals for dinner are usually easy things like spaghetti or tacos. And then there are days where I find a new recipe and give that a try. I usually always follow the recipe as is the first time around and if we like it, we decided if it is okay as is or if I should tweak it somehow.

Below are some of the meals we have tried over the past months and we give 5 stars.

!. Pioneer Woman Orange Chicken ~ This recipe is great written just as it is. I did try to double it one time, but it just did not work out the same. I don’t know why, but when I make this I follow this recipe as is and don’t double.

2. Homemade Hamburger Helper ~ Again, another recipe that is great just the way it is written. This makes a lot and we can usually have it for dinner one night and have the leftovers the next day for lunch.

3. Chicken Tacos ~ Some changes I have made to this recipe are that I cook it on the stove instead of in the crockpot. I also use chicken taco seasoning (McCormick’s) instead of regular taco seasoning. I put all of the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. I then turn the heat down to medium and watch it until the chicken is done and there is still some liquid left (sometimes I add more than 1 cup of broth, maybe 2 cups so it doesn’t all evaporate). When it is done and there is some liquid left, I shred the chicken and mix it all up. It only takes about an hour on the stove and still tastes great. Oh, and I don’t add any cheese to the mixture.

4. Easy Chicken Alfredo  Pasta Bake ~ Another easy and great stovetop pasta dish. We love this as written and it makes a lot which is great for us since we love leftovers for lunch the next day.

5. Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole ~ This is a great recipe and is great as written. This is another meal that we can have for dinner one night and have leftovers for lunch the next day.

Just a few of our favorite meals that we like to rotate through.

I am linking up with:

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up



L is for Literature

L is for Literature

Finding the right literature curriculum to use in our homeschool has been a somewhat difficult task. I’ve looked at several curriculum choices over the past couple of years trying to find the best one for my kids where they would be exposed to some great classics.

Last year, I had my oldest son go through Everyday Education’s Introduction to Literature. Even though he didn’t like the idea of reading Jane Eyre, he did read through some good classic books and learned a lot. He enjoyed many of the books from this program. One of his assignments was to write his own (short story) version of Animal Farm and he did so well with this assignment by using two well known political people in his story. It was actually a good short version of Animal Farm and showed he understood the meaning of Animal Farm.

My younger son read through Abeka’s Of Places book for his literature last year. This book just had excerpt's of many books and he never was able to get the whole story of any book.

So, this school year, I wanted something that both boys could do together. I did a lot of research and decided to give Hewitt Homeschooling Lightning Literature a try.

Hewitt Homeschooling Lightning Literature

I decided on the mid to late 19th-century pack for my boys. It looked like it had some books that my boys would like to read.  After having gone through our first semester with this program, I will say that they have enjoyed going through the different books and learning about the different authors and books. They are learning to write different styles of reports and have done great with the assignments. I plan to use one of the British Literature packs from Hewitt during our next school year.

My oldest daughter started 7th grade this past fall and I wanted to use something different than what I had used for my boys when they were in 7th grade. I looked at different curriculum and decided on three books for her to read this year. She started with Anne of Green Gables from Memoria Press.

progeny press

For her other two books to read, I decided to use Progeny Press. She is almost done reading Shiloh and will start with Little House in the Big Woods in a couple of weeks. Even though Little House is designed for upper elementary, I think she will enjoy reading the book and doing the study. I am not 100% sure what she will use for 8th grade next year so I may let her choose what books she would like to read and work from there.

With my youngest, I have just been reading grade level chapter books and she has enjoyed them so far. There were a couple that we reviewed (Imagine...The Great Flood and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls) last year and she is looking forward to hearing more from those series. We also did a review from Progeny Press for her grade level and she enjoyed that one also. As she gets older I will have read books like Charlotte's Web, Little House on the Prairie, etc.

I am linking up with:

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up



Weekly Homeschool Highlights

Homeschool Week

We were still on winter vacation this week. We have enjoyed having a two week break while getting ready to start back to doing school work.

We have been quite lazy this week as it has been so sold here in North Carolina. And…we actually got about 5 inches of snow this past Wednesday/Thursday! My kids were so excited. It’s been a couple of years since we have had this much (or more) snow. My littlest one is always praying that it will snow on her birthday (March 2) every year. I told her this snow was an early birthday present.


The picture below is our road. It’s a state highway, so they try to keep it clear if they can. They worked on it all day yesterday and had it mostly clear by night time. It was all the way clear today and cars were going the normal speed (55 mph).


The picture below is of a secondary road right down from our house. As you can see, they leave these roads until the main roads are cleared, then work on them to get them cleared.


With this cold snap, I’ve been making soups. I made our usual chicken noodle, but last night tried a new to us recipe of potato soup. I had never made it before, so I used this recipe as a guide.

I made a few changes to the recipe as follows:

Potato Soup (Click to print)
  • 6 cups peeled and diced Russet potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes. Dice into small cubes about 3/4-inch)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 medium)
  • 1 1/4 cups peeled and diced carrots (3 medium)
  • 1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans low sodium chicken broth  I used turkey broth from the freezer and it was about 5-6 cups.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk I used 1 cup heavy cream and 1 1/2 cups milk.
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • For serving:
  • Crumbled bacon or chopped cooked ham , shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions or chives.
  1. Combine diced potatoes, carrots, celery and onions with chicken broth in a large stockpot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat (it will take about 10 minutes to reach a boil), once it reaches a boil reduce heat to medium and continue to cook about 15 - 20 minutes longer until potatoes are very soft when pierced with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat, add flour and cook for 1 minute while whisking constantly. While whisking, slowly add milk and cook, stirring constantly until mixture begins lightly bubble and thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Note: I took about half of the potato, celery, carrot, and onion mixture and blended it in a blender until it was smooth. I then added the other half of the mixture to the milk mixture and added the blended mixture to that. It made the soup extra creamy)  Once potatoes are soft add thickened milk mixture to potato soup mixture and stir (potatoes should start breaking down into soup, if not cook a few minutes longer). Add sour cream and mix well. Ladle soup into serving bowls, top each serving with bacon or ham, cheddar cheese and green onions.
Ending this post with a flop or it could be a funny:

I bought an 18-month calendar from the Target dollar spot this past summer. When I changed it over to December, I kept looking at it and thought something was off, but could never figure it out. I finally did notice the misprint and had to take a picture. Smile


I'm linking up at:

Homeschool Coffee Break

Homeschool Review Crew Weekly Link Up



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