All posts by kmazy

Discovering Education – Creating Lapbooks


Creating Lapbooks for your child’s homeschool program is a GREAT way to bring out that budding crafter in your house. 

Lapbooking is a creative way to use a file folder and create a “book” or research report. 

Our house tries to break out of the normal routine by creating a lapbook and presenting an oral report on the topic. 

 

krisandlarry-lapbooktemplates.pdf (33 downloads)

Have a Cricut Air – Here is the online link to the file. https://design.cricut.com/#/design/111471747

 

Cherry Black Pepper Jam

I have been making this jam for many, many years and boy, is it good on a toasted sourdough turkey sandwiches with a bit of cream cheese (or 3 sandwiches if you are Griffen or Berlyn). I can’t say “YUUUMMM!” enough.   When I open a jar, I  know that  it will be gone faster than I can say “cherries!” 

We also make this same recipe with Strawberries as well. And man, that black pepper just adds a bit of kick perfect for a sweet and savory dish. 

I never make quite enough of this jam either to last until cherries are ripe the next year. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 4 cups of  pitted and stemmed cherries ( I buy mine in bulk from my local fruit lady in the fall. HI JESS! and they come in 5-gallon buckets, pre-pitted!)
  • 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • 4-1/2 TBSP Pectin
  • 2TBSP Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Bring to a boil and then add

  • 6 cups sugar

Stir, Stir, Stir!!! And bring back to a rolling boil for 1 minute. 

Now, you can can add to your jars and can these bad boys for later use. Please follow all canning requirements to ensure safety. 

Four Pemmican Recipes

I am sharing this set of recipes this morning. This is an amazing super-food perfect to keep in your to-go or bugout bag or even as an emergency mini-snack for your kiddlings.  This is a re-posted article from http://www.wildernesscollege.com/pemmican-recipes.html 

http://www.wildernesscollege.com/pemmican-recipes.html

 

By Filip Tkaczyk

Are you looking for some excellent pemmican recipes?

Wait, what is this thing called pemmican and where did it come from?

 

For starters, pemmican is originally a Cree word for rendered fat. Pemmican is a food used by a variety of Native peoples for many generations, and was adopted by the fur traders in the 18th and 19th centuries. It likely originates from North America. Native American scouts who spent a great deal of time on the go depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time. Often times pemmican was their food of choice.

This amazing stuff is a dried mixture of meat, berries and rendered fat (also called suet or tallow). It is an invaluable survival food that when prepared properly using good pemmican recipes can last anywhere from several months to several years without refrigeration!

Pemmican is a great asset to have with you while exploring the wilderness even today. Though most classic pemmican recipes require the use of meat and fat, it is also possible to make it vegetarian as described below.

Here are some great pemmican recipes you can try out to make this amazing food. Try out the following 4 recipes and see which one you like best!

Pemmican Recipes
Recipe # 1

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups lean meat (deer, beef, caribou or moose)
  • 3 cups dried fruit
  • 2 cups rendered fat
  • Unsalted nuts and about 1 shot of honey

Instructions:

Meat should be as lean as possible and double ground from your butcher if you do not have you own meat grinder. Spread it out very thin on a cookie sheet and dry at 180 degrees F for at least 8 hours or until sinewy andcrispy. Pound the meat into a nearly powder consistency using a blender or other tool. Grind the dried fruit, but leave a little bit lumpy for fun texture. Heat rendered fat on stove at medium until liquid. Add liquid fat to dried meat and dried fruit, and mix in nuts and honey. Mix everything by hand. Let cool and store. Can keep and be consumed for several years.

Recipe # 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs dried beef (see recipe 1 for drying instructions)
  • 1.5 cup raisins
  • Beef suet

Instructions:

Grind meat to fine pulp in a blender. Now add in the raisins. Chop this mix enough to break up the raisins and mix in well. Melt the suet to a liquid and pour into the mixture, using just enough to hold the meat and raisins together. Now allow this to cool slightly. Put this into a pan and let it cool completely. Next, cut the pemmican into strips, than divide it into bars of about 4” long by 1” wide. Bag these separately and you can store them for several months.

Recipe # 3

Ingredients:

  • Dried lean beef, buffalo, or venison (see recipe 1 for drying instructions)
  • Beef suet
  • Seedless dried fruit

Instructions:

Melt the suet until it becomes golden brown and liquid. Strain out any solids. If you cool it, re-melt it and strain it again it will improve the shelf life of the pemmican. Grind the meat into a powder. Chop or grind dried fruit and add it to meat. Pour liquid suet onto meat/fruit mixture. Mixes best if suet is warm, and allows you to use less of it. Now, press the pemmican into a tin using a spoon. Let cool in the fridge, than turn it out and cut into bars the size of candy bars. Wrap each bar in wax paper or paper lunch bag, label and store.

Recipe # 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dates
  • 3 cups powdered jerky (or powdered tofu-jerky)
  • 2 cups raisins
  • Honey (as a binding agent, add as much as needed)
  • 2 cups nuts

Instructions:

Grind all this material together, except for the honey. Add in the honey alittle bit at a time, and mix well each time. Pour into pan until about three quarters of an inch thick or make them directly into bars. Refrigerate and cut bars out of pan. This is a sweet concoction and in cold climates, honey can be replaced with suet and processed just as in pemmican recipes seen above.

Tips for making good pemmican

Here are some tips for you to improve your ability to use pemmican recipes properly, and make good pemmican:

  • Talk to your local butcher to acquire the suet. A local co-op butcher might have the healthiest choices in terms of organic meats. You may be able to acquire the suet for free in certain places.
  • When rendering (melting) the suet, be careful not to burn it or make it smoke.
  • The warmer the climate you are going to be using the pemmican in, the less fat you need in it.
  • This is also true for the time of year. Use less fat for the summer time, more for winter.
  • Label what you make, especially if you try different recipes.

Lastly, remember to experiment with your own recipes. The key points for making pemmican are to make sure that you render the fat (suet) properly and to make sure that the meat and fruit you put into the recipe are very dry, not cooked or partially dry.

Try making some pemmican of your own today!

 

Repost – Aquaponics

After a heavy storm, we took down our aquaponics system. It will be going back up in the garden in the next few months.

Here is a video of what we had up and running before. 

Make sure to like and subscribe to our youtube channel.

Cricut Explore Air 2 – Game Changer for our homeschool and other projects

I have always been a crafter, but most of that has gone the wayside with 7 kids in the house and working, homesteading, etc. And not wanting to scrapbook and see all of the memories of Breckin. That was way too hard in the beginning of the grieving process. Pictures are coming out, Albums are being put together and memories are being made. 

In my “past life” I taught scrapbooking classes for several different companies (when Griffen was a baby – so about 16 years ago). One flew me around the country several times a month for over a year to teach other consultants how to run their classes.

I have 40+ cricut cartridges and several machines in the top of the closet in the hall.  But, dragging them out of the hall closet, finding the right cartridge, the process was long and crazy. And it took over what ever table that I set it up on.



I needed to revisit my creative outlet and get going again. 

So this new Cricut is a game changer!!! I picked it up on Amazon (Link below) for about $300. Yes, I know….$$$

But since it’s arrival, I have made props for my classroom, the kids started their lapbook projects on the states for our homeschooling, I have our vacation t-shirts designed. I even loaded the VIPKid logo in and cut a few IRON-ON for my orange t-shirts!!! I have so many ideas for home designs and there are even some simplicity patterns that you can purchace and be able to cut with this. I have it on my printer shelf next to my laser printer. 

And the best part is that the design process is online. I can start a design, and then save and revisit it later. I don’t lose anything and since time to do “crafty” things in my house is limited, I am able to come back to projects and cut them out when I have time. 

 

PHONE APP!!!!!

AND There is a PHONE APP! So when I am sitting in the car, waiting for one of the kids in their many activities, I can design something and then cut it when I get home!!! 

 

You can use it with your current cricut cartridges AND/OR pay a monthly subscription plan (if you plan on using it) and get 50,000 graphics to be able to cut. You can also purchase PRE-DESIGNED PROJECTS! 

(YES, It cuts Vinyl, magnet, cardstock, leather, fabric, felt, paper, burlap, birch, denim. There is even a slot for pens to draw some of the parts of your projects – I haven’t even tried that one yet.) Here is a link to all of the materials that you can cut with it: https://help.cricut.com/help/cricut-explore-materials-settings

I am thinking wooden signs with vinyl cutouts for the kids’ animals for the fair next year!!!

 

Oh, WHY did I not do this sooner!?!? So here is the link, my friends!!! GAME CHANGER for your crafting needs!!!






Families with Autists or SP Kids!! Weighted FROG

I have discovered the best thing since sliced bread! No seriously!! Listen to me! If you have a child with Autism or Sensory Processing Disorder and have considered a weighted blanket, TRY THIS! 

So many of you know our journey with our amazing little autist. Berlyn is growing up on us! I have always wanted a weighted blanket, but have not been able to afford its hefty price tag. I am not a good enough seamstress to sew one together to last the CRAZINESS that my Berlyn would put it through. 

We found this frog and it is the best $50 I have ever spent. He puts it on his lap, chest, shoulders, head…. He does it without anyone telling him to as if the doll tells him to do it. This frog has become a part of our family over the last several weeks. Berlyn is focusing more on his schoolwork now too. 



If you are interested, Click on the link below and check them out. There are also lizzards, snakes and even a dolphin. The one that we picked up for Berlyn weighs 2.5kg ( about 5.5 pounds). They also come in other weights too.






Science for this year in homeschooling

I was struggling to find a curriculum that I wanted to use for Science for my younger crew. Eureka! I have found it!!! 

This hands-on box called the Groovy Lab in a box is available on Amazon as a monthly kit order. We signed up for the auto order. August is all about PULLEYS. There are 6 projects in the 24 page color instructions with a full step by step.

It is going to be a time saver for mom. I don’t have to research or dig anything up to create any science experiments. And I quickly pulled up information on Sir Isaac Newton for a quick lap book (his name and a brief paragraph is on the first page of the book.)

At the end of the month, I will post photos and video on how Grayson, Rowan and Berlyn did building these projects

Homeschooling 2018

 

This is year 14 for our family homeschooling and I personally feel that it has been a huge success. I am often asked, “why?” I homeschool because I can give my children a quality Christian education that the public schools can not.  I can work one on one with the kids that need the extra help ( and the ones who don’t) and we can have more hands-on activities and projects as well as field trips. 

Some years have been better than others. Some books/curriculum my children like better than others. 

One year we did entirely lap books and that was a blast, but not really an option for my high school aged kids. 

Here are some of the curriculum that we are using this year as a family. The first 2 weeks, we start out slow with only 3 subjects: Science, History and Literature. Once the kids get in the mode of schooling again, we add in Math, grammar and electives.

High School History/Literature:   Notgrass Exploring Government: https://amzn.to/2uZA3qL

Elementary History/Literature:   Notgrass Our Star Spangled Story (New and not even here yet) https://history.notgrass.com/elementary/

LifePac Science:  11th grade: https://amzn.to/2mXkoDN

We are using this science book for my littles and altering projects to fit 3-7th grades: https://amzn.to/2O0hE3Y

The one thing that I have learned is that for our family a pre-set full curriculum from one company does not work. I piece together what works best for us. 

Happy Birthday Miss Grayson

Back on May 11, we finally adopted our AMAZING little Grayson. It was a CRAZY journey; One that I will never forget. Tell you about that later.

Happy 8th birthday to this beautiful girl. I love you a bushel and a peck! I am so happy to finally call you “daughter” forever and ever. You are an AMAZING and a beautiful Monkey Tickly Pit Monster.

Maker:S,Date:2017-11-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

becoming a VIPKid teacher

This year, our family has made a few changes. I began working as a VIPKid teacher in February. With my ankle still recovering from the September surgery and the doctors telling me that it could be up to 2 years for a full recovery, I have had to “slow down” a few our activities. However, no one said that I couldn’t teach from the comfort of my own dining room. And have fun while I worked.

As of July 3rd, I have officially been a teacher with them for 151 days and taught over 1030 classes to 408 different students. 

The biggest change is my sleeping schedule. As a teacher for Chinese students, I have to work on a China clock, not an American clock.  The best classes for Arizona are from 4-6am. So those are the classes that I teach. I also teach the 3:30 am classes and the 6am-6:30 class. For the summer, I have evenings opened up 4 days a week and teach Friday nights regularly.

I love that most of my schedule is before the crew even gets up and going in the morning. That has made it the perfect job for me. I can still run our homestead, still homeschool and most of all can still spend time with my children who very much welcome an afternoon nap with mom. 🙂

 

Check out my Youtube page with more information / videos on VIPKid Journey

https://www.youtube.com/user/krismazy/videos?view_as=subscriber 

Are you ready to get started with VIPKid? They are always looking for new teachers: 

https://t.vipkid.com.cn/?refereeId=5761972&refersourceid=a01