Friday, April 17, 2015

Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen #113: Beef and Noodle Stew

Time for Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen
(A weekly linky to share what you and your children have created in the kitchen.)


The linky is at the bottom.

I apologize for not having posted a Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen for a while. I have to say, I didn't realize it had been a month. My motivation has not been where it should be lately, and we just haven't been in the kitchen the same way we have in the past. One of the problems is that it gets a bit stressful trying to have all four of the children in the kitchen together. I have decided that I will have the older girls help me with some harder recipes one week, and then have the younger children help out with simple ones. There may be a time when we will all work together if the recipe is part of our lesson.

For today's Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen, I am sharing a recipe of my own creation. I have always struggled with making stew. I just can not make it the way my mother did. Granted, it still isn't the same as mom's, but it is quite tasty. When hubby says it is a "Keeper Recipe," it must mean we found or created something really yummy.

Here is what you will need:

Stew Beef, cut into bite sized pieces
Flour for coating beef
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder (to season flour)
1 Tbs butter
6 carrots, sliced
1/2 bag Wide Egg Noodles
8 cups water
8 beef bouillon cubes
4 Tbs cornstarch
minced onion

Tabitha and a Mom in the Kitchen

While mommy cut the beef into bite sized pieces...

...Tabitha peeled the carrots.  She attempted to slice them, but we were in a rush, so mommy took over.

I don't measure the flour. I just use enough to coat the beef, and add salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  

I had Tabitha help coat the beef while I finished slicing the carrots.

The importance of  washing your hands after touching raw meat was discussed.

Heat the pan on medium-high heat. Place butter in heated pan.
(No, this pan was not heated first. As I mentioned, we were in a rush as daddy was headed to work, and I forgot.)

Toss in the beef and let it cook for a few minutes. Then stir it up to make sure it is cooking evenly.

While it was cooking, Amelia came in and helped Tabitha unwrap the bouillon cubes.

When the meat is almost cooked through, add in 8 cups of water, plus the bouillon cubes, carrots and minced onion. I do not measure the minced onion, I just sprinkle a bunch on the top.

After the water has come to a boil, add the egg noodles and cook according to package directions. 

Mix 4 Tbs cornstarch with 4 Tbs water.

Turn heat to low. Add cornstarch mixture to stew and stir until thickened. 


1- Coat beef with seasoned flour.
2- Heat pan on medium-high heat.
3- Place butter in heated pan, toss in beef, and let it cook for a few minutes, then stir up and make sure it is cooking evenly.
4- When beef is almost cooked through, add 8 cups of water, bouillon cubes, minced onion, and carrots. 
5- After the water has come to a boil, add noodles and cook according to package directions.
6- Turn to low.
7- Mix 4 Tbs cornstarch with 4 Tbs water, add to stew and stir until thickened.

Do you have your children help you in the kitchen?  What lessons do they learn? Do you have any kid friendly recipes to share?
I'd love to see your posts, whether you have done something this week or some time in the past. Just link up below. This is a weekly linky.

I am linking up to:
PhotobucketMore the Merrier MondayFull Time Mama

Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Try a New Recipe Tuesday at Home to Four Kiddos
The Gathering Spot at Mamal Diane
Friday Food Frenzy at Close to Home
Fantastic Thursday at Five Little Chefs
Foodie Friends Friday at Robyn'sView
Family Fun Friday at Happy and Blessed Home
Find a New Recipe Friday at Almost Supermom

And here is my Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen linky

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #43: April 16, 2015

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around April 16th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook. 

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. 

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted April 14th, 2013
D is for Dinosaur

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Wholesome Joy from Wholesome Joy Photography shared

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Learning to Read with Memoria Press {A TOS Review}

Memoria Press Review
I am a big believer in teaching children to read by using a phonics approach. This comes from my background of working in a Montessori, and seeing my older children struggle with reading after being taught with the whole-language method in public school.  With Tabitha and Amelia, I was able to successfully teach them to read using some of the techniques I learned while working. Unfortunately, nothing seemed to be clicking for Hannah. As she only just turned 5, I haven't been too concerned, but I was beginning to wonder what curriculum or approach I needed to use with her. Once again, the Schoolhouse Review Crew has come to my rescue. This time with First Start Reading from Memoria Press.  

Memoria Press is a family owned company that is dedicated to providing Classical Christian Education products to homeschool families and private schools. When I was checking out the Memoria Press website to gauge my interest in the program, I loved what I was reading. I was intrigued by the thought of a traditional approach to learning phonics, especially because using the vowel-consonant blending approach with word families was what I have done in the past. I have seen other programs that use the ladder approach emphasizing consonant-vowel blending, and they just haven't been for us. Also emphasized with First Start Reading are correct pencil grip and letter formation. I have to tell you, it sure sounded like a well-rounded program.

The First Start Reading program is a set of 5 books. I received a Teacher Guide along with 4 Student Books (A-D). As a child works through the program they will learn the sounds of the letters plus learn how to write them correctly. By the third lesson the child will have learned their first simple word, "am" along with their first sentence, "I am Hannah." The program adds letters one by one, having the child build onto the word family as they learn new letters. As they get further into the program, children learn to add new letters to the beginning of the ending-blend/word family and they also begin to learn a new word family if applicable. After mastering words with short a in the first book, the child goes on to learn  words with short i and short o in Book B. Short e and short u are focused on in Book C. Finally, in Book D, the child learns words with long vowels, digraphs, final consonant blends and s, r, and l blends. A child begins the program by learning a letter sounds one at a time, and by the time they finish all 4 books, they  are reading stories which contain 5 and 6 letter words!

I have found the Teacher Guide to be invaluable with this curriculum. There is a 10-page introduction that includes:
  • Alphabet chart illustrating proper letter formation
  • A run down of the contents for each Student Book. Each chart lists the lesson number plus what is learned in each lesson (letters/sounds, words learned, reading skills taught, and sentences learned, along with the page number).
  • Phonics Overview
  • Phonics Approach
  • Getting Started
  • General Teaching Guidelines
  • Information about the workbook
  • Phonics Recitation suggestion
  • Pencil Grip information
  • Printing Lessons
  • Game Suggestions for adding variety and interest
The Teacher Guide then moves into the Lesson Plans for each of the Student Books (A-D).  The information in the introduction (sections on General Teaching Guidelines and Workbook) explain specifics about using the lesson plan pages. These lesson pages contain a copy of the student page with instructions for the teacher, specifying what to do and say for each page. The scripted parts that the teacher is supposed to say are in italic font, while the instructions for the teacher are in regular font. When there is an answer expected from the child it will be shown in smaller font in parentheses. 

Additionally, in the back of the Teacher Guide, you will find an appendix with a selection of posters. These include:
  • b-d hand poster
  • b-d bed poster
  • left and right mitten posters
  • left and right pencil grip posters
  • short vowel posters
Now, let's look at the Student Books. 

Each book begins with the content chart which is also found in the Teacher Guide. Each lesson spans a two-page spread.  Let's look at some of the lessons in Book A.

The child will find pictures that begin with the letter/sound they are learning. These are hand-drawn by the author and appropriate for coloring, which is usually done at the conclusion of the day's lesson. The majority of the lessons have a space for the child to illustrate a word, or later on a sentence of their choosing. The printing practice section of the lesson is either a half a page or a full page of age-appropriate lines. When learning letters, the printed letter with correct formation is shown, which the child can trace with their finger.  Then there is a line of dotted letters to trace, and another line for the child to practice writing alone. 

As the child moves into blending, starting with lesson 3, there will be a couple of lines for practicing blending the sounds together before the word is shown as a whole. First the child blends the sounds by tracing the dashed blend lines, then the word is written by tracing over the dotted lines. Finally, a sentence is learned using the sounds already known.

As the child works through the book and learns new sounds, new words are taught at a faster pace.  They are able to see how they can add a new letter to the beginning of the ending blend and make new words thanks to using Word Families, so several new words can be learned at once.

At the back of Books A-C there are cumulative Word Mastery Reviews.  They are organized by Word Families, and each book adds the new words learned to the lists. There is also a section for reviewing the "Common Words" that were learned. Assessments are then given and the results are recorded on the Assessment Records pages of each book. In Book D there are assessments throughout the book, after each lesson.

We have been working our way through Book A, at the pace of a few lessons a week.  The first thing we worked on was proper pencil grip, as recommended in the book. I was pleased to see that Hannah can hold the pencil well.

We have used the chalk board to work on proper letter formation.

And with each new sound introduced, we are to do an ear training activity for phonemic awareness.  I am to say several words to Hannah, some of which start with the new sound and some of which do not. She is to tell me whether she hears the sound or not. This is also done using ending sounds, to really get the child to listen and distinguish the sound from the other sounds.  To make this activity a bit more hands on, I made simple letter/sound cards. If she hears the sound she is to lift the letter up. If she doesn't hear the sound she doesn't pick it up. She usually will shake her head no, or say no if she doesn't hear it.

 We then move on to tracing and writing in the workbook.

This program is exactly what I was looking for. Hannah is so excited to be learning to read. I have even caught her trying her hand at writing her own sentences. They aren't quite understandable yet, but things are starting to click for her. . The pages are simple and not flashy, which would be a distraction for Hannah. However, there is enough variety in each lesson that she is not bored. She gets to listen, write, blend/read, color, and draw. Additionally, I have found this program to be very well organized. I love that it begins by teaching letters that have continuous sounds which are easier to blend. Definitely, a well-rounded program and one I highly recommend!

You can find Memoria Press on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram.

My fellow Crew Mates have been using either First Start Reading or New American Cursive from Memoria Press. Don't forget to stop by and check out their reviews. Just click on the banner below.

Memoria Press Review

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: April 15th, 2015 (w/linky)- Hannah is 5 Years Old!

Hannah is 5 years old! Already! Last year I asked:

How did that happen??

And now another year has passed? Where has the time gone?!?

My little girl has grown so big. 


1 Year Old

2 Years Old

3 Years Old

4 Years old

And now she is 5! 
Happy Birthday Hannah!

We started a tradition when Tabitha turned 5, that we continued with Amelia and now with Hannah. We get to go to Chuck E. Cheese!

We actually had to go to Chuck E. Cheese a couple of days early because daddy was working on her birthday. Here is a look at her special day.

Special Breakfast

Present Time

Birthday Spankings

Can't forget the cake!

After daddy left for work, she opened the presents from her sisters.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

Tots and Me

Related Posts with Thumbnails