Monday, July 28, 2014

What's Cooking?

These go back to before Ty became a blonde. This summer we've been working on making breakfast. I taught the kids to make an over easy egg (but they still have trouble flipping it), and Rick worked with them on making omelets.

Well, it taste good no matter what it looks like. 

Jasmine and Kayla have asked to cook a lot this summer, but the timing doesn't always work out. But Kayla did make these pita sandwiches one day.

Cheesy Pita Pockets
1 tbs veg oil
1 large onion sliced
1-2 pkg frozen beef sandwich steaks
1 can cheddar cheese soup
8 pita pockets

Heat oil in skillet. Heat onions until tender. Drain and set aside. Break steaks into small pieces and cook until browned. Pour off fat. Add cheese and onions and heat through. Spoon into pita pockets.

And Jessica made crescent roll taco bake. You can see how excited she was to cook!

Crescent Roll Taco Bake

2 crescent roll tubes
1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce
1 or 2 diced tomatoes depending on size
1/2 small can sliced olives if desired
Sour cream optional

Lay out the two tubes of crescent pastry, thick sides in. Use some of the left over crescent rolls to make the center a bit thicker. 
Brown beef and add taco seasoning. 
Lay beef in a circle inside of the laid out crescent rolls
Add some of the cheese to the top
Pull over crescent rolls and tuck in under meat and cheese. 
Follow cook time on the pack of crescent rolls.

Add cheese, lettuce, tomato, black olives, sour cream or whatever you desire for your tacos, in the middle. 

Kayla also made easy enchiladas.

1 lb boneless chicken breasts cubed
10 ¾ oz can cream of chicken soup
1 c thick and chunky salsa
8 flour tortillas (6")
10 ¾ oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup

Cook chicken in skillet until browned. Add chicken soup (no water added) and 1/2c salsa. Heat through. Spoon about 1/3c chicken mixture down one side of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam-side down in 2 qt microwave-safe baking dish. Mix cheese soup (no water added) and remaining salsa. Pour over tortillas. Microwave on high 5 minutes or until hot. Serves 4.

Jasmine made crispy cheddar chicken.

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

2 lbs chicken tenders or 4 large chicken breasts 
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper 
1/2 cup whole milk 
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried parsley 

1 10 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoon butter

Crush crackers. If using chicken breasts and not tenders, cut each chicken breast into 3 large pieces. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk and then the cheese. Press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers. Then press the cheesy coated chicken into the cracker crumbs and press it in. 

Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy. 

In a medium sized saucepan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken. 

Jessica made chicken Caesar wraps. There was no real recipe. Just get Tyson or another brand precooked chicken strips and heat them up.

Put on a soft flour tortilla and add lettuce, cheese and Caesar dressing. You could add other vegetables too.

At Jasmine's request, Jessica make homemade strawberry shakes again.

Strawberry Shake

½ lb strawberries sliced

2 Tbs sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 pint vanilla ice cream

½ c milk

1 Tbs strawberry syrup

Combine sliced strawberries, sugar and 

vanilla in bowl. Let set for 20 minutes. 

Pour all ingredients into blender and blend.

I don't have pictures of the other times Jasmine helped cook (or can't locate them at least), so this is it for now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Reading

The three youngest are reading through Just for Me: My Family. On the cover it says for girls 6-9. I disagree with that. It's for a younger age than that. (They took out all my harder activities.) Maybe kindergarten through second grades. Or older if they are new to your family or delayed. No matter what age it's best for, I'm doing it with a 9-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl because the activities are geared for families and fun for everyone.

We've gotten a slow start due to physical therapy, band camp, hip hop, tumbling and gymnastics as well as other adventures and activities. 

We started it one evening after we were done with everything else.

He doesn't care that it's suppose to be for girls. (He knows there are activities with food coming up!)

The first activity was a family tree. Although it doesn't say to do this in the book (it was cut), we added roots and wrote birth parent names on them. The twins know both birth parent names although their mother died when they were quite young. Jasmine knows her mom's name, so that's what they wrote.

Doing the family tree gave us a chance to talk again about the importance of birth parents and how the kids got their looks and talents from their birth parents, and that we are building on those talents.

If you look closely, you can see the names on the roots.

We only went back as far as grandparents for now.

Our next activity was an indoor bowling game. 
The best part was that everyone worked together to make it.
And they all got along!


Even though they've bowled for real, they enjoyed this simple indoor game. Maybe because they made it themselves.

You can follow us as we read through the book and see more about how we made the bowling game on my other BLOG.
If you have girls ages 5-8, please join us in reading through the book and doing the activities. It's especially good for families who have foster or adopted children. And encourage the boys to join in on the activities. One activity per chapter is a whole family activity. The bigger ones can help the younger ones. Even though the book itself doesn't deal with a lot of issues, it's a way to start those discussions with your children. And it affirms non traditional families. Join us.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kayaking with the Dogs

I'm so far behind on blogging! I'll try to cover the rest of what we did while Ty David was here.
His eyes look so blue in this picture.

Getting ready to go eat with a family from church. The boys weren't ready yet. 

First time for the huskies to go kayaking.

The other dogs have done it at least twice before.

The huskies are a lapful! Snowflake looks a lot more relaxed than Rick does!

Travis loves it.

He likes to jump off and swim for shore.

This is a selfie I took while Jessica chased Snowflake who slip her harness.


Rick and I took Jasmine out a day early for her 10th adoption anniversary. Her adoption day was July 14, 2004. She was almost 3 1/2 by then. 

I bought her the necklace and watch she is wearing. I also bought her the shirt because hers had somehow gotten dirty while we were out. We hadn't originally planned to go out to eat this night (same day as the kayak trip), just buy the necklace. But once we decided to go to Chilis, we called Rick to meet us there, and I bought Jasmine a shirt to change into.

This is the next morning as she and Jessica were getting ready to take Ty to the airport.

Ready to go to the airport.

Unfortunately Jessica drove right by the airport without realizing it, and by time she did realize it and drove back, the plane had loaded.  He could have still gone, but it was too late for his luggage. There was another plane going to Atlanta  90 minutes later, so he took that. And then caught his flight to Nashville.

The Job Corp people drove down to pick all the kids up. It's a couple of hours, but I guess it's the best place for them to fly out of. There isn't much near them in KY.

Ty is doing really well at Job Corps. He's doing  his computer tech training, and he's the recreation room supervisor. He's also a leader in his bay. Job Corps has its problems, but it works for some kids. Especially kids that you aren't sure what to do with. Ty's smart enough, but couldn't handle the rigors of college. He wanted to go into the USAF but was turned down because of his aspergers. If you have a child like that, you might want to check out Job Corps.

Anyone else have kids who went to Job Corps?