Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why I work in the pubic school system and cream of chicken soup

I wanted to write for a minute about why I work I the public schools.  I have a degree in business and accounting and could work at an accounting firm or a bank, make more money than I am making now, and have a lot less stress and not have to deal with children or the behaviors that come with them.  However, after my little boy went to school, I started looking for a job in the school system so that I could have the same work schedule as the kid's school schedule.  We lived in a different town than we are in now, and when I went for an interview I didn't get a job at all.  I started that year off working in a church preschool.  After Thanksgiving I was called and asked if I wanted a job working in a severe and profound high school special education room.  This is something that I had never considered, but I decided to give it a try and I found out that I love special needs.

Fast forward to a few years later and I now work in an elementary school with children with learning disabilities.  Most of these kids need extra help in the classroom to do their work and some need remediation in a pull out setting.  I feel like the kids I help are the ones who are most in need of a teacher to teach them, and this is where I come in.  This is also a great place to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  We have so many children who have terrible home lives, and I get to show these kids a little kindness.  We have some who need a listening ear, and I get to do that too.  When their peers or even classroom teachers don't understand the way they are I get to step in and help and this lets the children know that someone cares.  While most people run away from the needy students that struggle academically as well as socially I am attracted to them.  I can't really explain it, but I feel a connection to the struggling student when we achieve our little goals.  I don't get paid much, but that is ok.  Life is not about how much money you make, it is about the impact you have on other people's lives, and I am in the perfect place to make that impact.

On to homemade cream of chicken soup.

Yes I will use canned soup, especially if I am in a hurry, but homemade soup is cheap and much tastier.  It is not a thick as canned so take that into consideration if you are putting it in a casserole.  All I do is make a basic white sauce.  I take three tbsp. of butter and melt it in a pan with five tbsp. of flour.  Stir this around and add two cups of milk.  Cook this until the sauce it thick and bubbly.  You need to continue to stir it because the milk can burn.  I then add two chicken bullion cubes, or you could add the powder or the paste. whatever you have on hand.  I buy the bullion from SAMs and it lasts me forever.  That is it and it is easy.  If I am doing a big batch cooking I will double or triple this recipe to go in all of the dishes that need cream soup. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Cranberry Pork Roast

I had promised that I would share some recipes from my freezer cooking. I don't want to share them until we have tried them so that I could recommend them or not. I highly recommend the cranberry pork loin. It was so easy and good. I bought a really big pork loin from SAMs and cut it into four pieces for four different dinners. Depending on the size of your family and how much meat you eat, you might be able to get four dinners out of it or you might only want to get three.  Anyway, I put my pork roast in a freezer bag with a can of whole craberry sauce and a package of onion soup mix and put it in the freezer.

  On cooking day I ran the bag under hot water to loosen it and put it in the crockpot on low. I also added some baby carrots that we're getting dry.  When I got home at 5:00 I chopped the meat and put it back in the sauce and added a little water.  I cooked pasta to go with it but it would have been good with rice too.  I served it with home canned green beans.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The night before the last day of summer

I did a little grocery shopping and preparing of food this weekend.  We are starting back to school this week.  I have to go back tomorrow and the kids come on Friday.  This is some of the food that I bought.
These are some of the food that I prepped. The gallon baggies are crock pot freezer meals and the pans have casseroles in the them.  I also prepped a meatloaf and some hamburger patties.

Some have been asking me for recipes/  I don't want to give any until we have tried the food.  Some of these are new to me and some are old.  I will give one that is easy and we all like.
Crockpot Freezer Fajitas
Place in a gallon freezer bag:
4 boneless chicken breast
1 green pepper chopped
1 onion chopped
one envelope of taco seasoning
juice of one lime
Place in freezer until ready to use.  On the day of use run bag under hot water to loosen and place contents of bag into crock pot.  Cook on low 8 to 10 hours.  Shred chicken with fork.  Serve on flour tortillas with cheese and salsa and fixings of choice. 
It helps us so much to have food in the freezer.  It saves us so much time and money.   I keeps lunch and sandwich makings in the fridge and cereal, eggs, grits, and bagels for breakfast.  This should be enough for the month along with what we already had in the freezer and pantry.  I will have to go to the store for milk and a few other things, but not another big shop for a while. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

In a different time

Life has been busy around here. I have been canning and shopping but not the kind of shopping most of my friends are doing.

I realized long ago that I probably should have lived at a different time. Don't get me wrong, I like electricity (especially in the summer in Georgia) and I like to use technology (especially when writing a paper for college classes), but I really don't enjoy main stream activities. I don't enjoying shopping and consumerism. I prefer to buy things used or not at all. I don't like dinners out very often (but I do enjoy eating Japanese food with my family on my birthday or dinner out with friends)'and I don't really like going to the movies. TV is fairly boring and in my opinion leads back to consumerism that I avoid. 

What do I really like to do?  I like to cook and clean and organize my home. I like to visit farmers markets and natural markets to find fresh food and new things to try in the kitchen. I like to read just about anything. I like knitting and needlework but I am not a good sewer or crafter. I like to have good conversation, spend time with my family, take walks whe the weather is nice, swimming, studying and church activities. I also love to attend any activity my children are participating in.  We like camping as a family and discovering new state parks and new areas. We all love nature and like to hike and explore in the fall and spring. 

I know that I am not alone. There are other people like me that don't  enjoy shopping, eating out and running the rat race. It just seems that every time we go to town that there are so many that are into this kind of lifestyle and we are the minority. Even in the workplace I often don't feel like I know the tv shows or movies the others know or haven't been to that restaurant or been shopping at the nice stores and don't really seem like I fit in, but then I have things that they don't have. I have a large family that loves to linger at the table talking after a homemade dinner. I have kids that enjoy the simple things and really appreciate it when I buy them something. We study gods word together and try to live the way he would want us to. 

So even if I feel like we live different from many others it is not a bad way to live. In fact, we all quite enjoy it. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Getting stuff done.

I am trying to get a few last things done before school starts back up. With the start of school starts work for me and college classes and football and soccer and and and...  Do you see what a I mean. Busy busy busy.

Yesterday I took my mom to Woodstock to Bread Beckers. It is a small place where we buy all of our wheat for whole wheat baking. I love going there. I always learn something new. It's is kind of like hanging out with the hippies, which I guess I have kind of evolved over the years into a cross between a hippie and a redneck.   Anyway the trip was fun and informative. I enjoyed the time with my mom. We don't see eye to eye on everything but we don't let that hinder our relationship. We just agree to disagree.