Something New

With winter cabin fever set in a few weeks ago, I purposed to try something new that would give my kids and I something constructive to focus on.  This experiment was fairly affordable and because it is giving my husband and I a chance to teach life long values, especially financially, I think it was worth it.

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The chalkboard cost $14 at Hobby Lobby which was a great deal.  It was the bistro markers that hurt. They cost $12 per package.  My husband wanted a variety of colors, okay I wanted them too, so it kind of makes my stomach cringe to think we paid $24 for those.  It is over though now, no going back.  I can honestly say though, I am glad we decided to go this route rather than a typical marker board.  They had white or black but I really wanted the good ol’ chalkboard menu style.

I started out just making a “to-do list” for the kids.  We are all pretty visual and find a sense of accomplishment when we get something checked off.  Besides, it means it’s that much closer to playtime, eh? Right about the time I got my board all doodled-up, which might I add is like a form of therapy for the artist inside, I ran across a used set of children’s books by Dave Ramsey.  Perfect timing. God’s timing. I snagged these for only $3!!!

20150102_113443_zpszarhzgvn We read one of these each day that week and the kids loved them. I decided this was a great opportunity to take Dave Ramsey’s “envelope method” and combine it with my chalkboard bit.  Today will be the first official day we actually take the kid’s earnings and put them in their envelopes, one for saving, one for giving and one for spending. I will document how that goes too.

If you yourself have any creative ideas on how to teach kid’s useful tools, please feel free to share.  I count myself a student forever. Always willing to learn and grow! Thank you for reading : )

~Meghan Weyerbacher~

“Best Tomato Soup Recipe Ever”

This recipe is just as scrumptious as it looks. This coming from some who pretty much likes all foods. There isn’t much I have found that I can not stand to eat. This is one of Ree Drummond’s recipes which you can find here or here.

I literally made this today. It made more than we could eat, so I divided it up between three containers so that we could give some away to family. It was perfect with grilled cheese sandwiches.  My husband said he thought it was the best dip for a grilled cheese if there ever was one.  Below are the step-by-step instructions, with a few notes in there too. Enjoy!

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Total Time: 40 min
Prep: 25 min
Cook: 15 min
Yield:6 to 8 servings
Level:Easy

Ingredients: (1) 1 medium yellow or white onion (I thought it already had too much onion even after adding just 3/4 of one, so if you want less crunch and more of the smooth soup you may want to change it up.) (2) 6 TBSP or 3/4 Stick of butter (3) Two 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (4) One 46 oz. jar or can of tomato juice (5) 3-6 TBSP of sugar (to offset the acidity) (6) 1-2 TBSP chicken base or 3 chicken bullion cubes (7) freshly ground black pepper (8) 1 Cup of sherry, optional (9) 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream (10) 1/4 cup chopped basil (11) 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley.

Step 1: cut up onion and throw into a pot of your melted butter. Cook them until they are glazed. This will only take a few minutes if your heat is up like it should be.

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Step 2: Add both cans of diced tomatoes

20150101_132014_zpsozjnpfvn (1)Step 3: Add the big can of tomato juice & bring to almost a boil

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Step 4: Add the heavy cream

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Step 5: Chop up the herbs and add them

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Step 6: Go ahead and remove from heat after you add the herbs

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Finished!

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The only differences in what I did versus Ree’s was that I did not use sherry, I only used part of an onion and still wished I would have used less, I did not use fresh ground black pepper but the kind I had on hand, and I used curly parsley because the store was out of the flat kind. It still turned out great and I will be making it again eventually.

~Meghan Weyerbacher~