Taco Salad

Taco salad is one of our favorite meals!  It is quick, easy, and cheap.  Sometimes, on a really relaxed day, I’ll cook up a bunch of ground beef and freeze it in meal size batches.  That means if I’m running behind another day I can just thaw it quickly and whip together something quick like this taco salad, or some spaghetti.  The following recipe is the right size for our family of 7, feel free to increase or decrease amounts to your liking.


2 pounds ground beef

2 packages of taco seasoning (or you can make your own and be super frugal!)

1/4 – 1/2 cup water

2 heads lettuce

8 oz cheese (we prefer Mexican blend, but use your favorite)

ranch dressing

chips (this is completely optional, but tortilla chips, Frito’s, and Dorito’s are always good options)


Brown ground beef over medium heat, stirring and breaking up clumps occasionally.  Once completely cooked drain grease and add taco seasoning.  Add water and stir to combine (I rarely measure the water, I usually just fill up one taco seasoning packet with water and use that.)  Cook the meat and seasoning mixture down a few minutes.  You don’t want it to be bone dry, just make sure the mixture doesn’t have any standing water.

To make plates crush chips, if using, into the bottom of a bowl.  Next, add lettuce and beef mixture.  Top with cheese and ranch dressing.  Enjoy!


Menu planning and hello again!

It hasn’t just been awhile, it’s been a LONG while, huh?  In truth, I just got busy living life and totally forgot about this site.  I decided to start blogging again, logged into WordPress, and lo and behold, I already have a blog up and running 🙂

I’ve been pretty consistent with menu planning here lately.  I always get on Pinterest and find a few new recipes to try, and grab one or two of our favorites to cook for the week.  The big problem is that I almost always make a few changes to the recipes I find.  I also have a bad habit of trying a recipe, not really liking it but realizing it has a lot of potential, and then forgetting whether I like it or not and what I would like to change about it.  I’m going to use this blog to chronicle which recipes I’ve used, if I liked them or not, and any changes that I make to it.

On the menu for this week is:

Taco Salad

Hamburgers and Hot Dogs with Coleslaw

Green Enchilada Chicken Soup

Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli

Kielbasa, Cabbage, and Onions

Farmhouse Beans and Sausage

I’m sure you noticed that’s only 6 dinner recipes.  We like to keep our options open for Friday night.  This usually involves grabbing pizza, chicken wings, or Chinese take-out.  Friday nights are our family fun nights.  We might watch a movie, play board games, go walk around the mall, or just sit around and talk ’til the wee hours of the morning.  Regardless of what we are doing, Friday nights are our favorite night of the week!

Christmas Activities and Books for Early Elementary

Materials: Paper plates, paint,paint brushes,  Christmas cookie cutter set, assorted small crafting (supplies like buttons, pom pom balls, ribbon, etc,) pine cones, glitter, yarn, printer ink and paper, dish sponges, cotton balls, construction paper, salad spinner, craft sticks, 


Crafts for little kids:

Christmas wreath

Salt Dough Ornaments

Pine Cone Ornaments

Christmas Sponge Painting

Santa craft

Fingerprint Christmas Lights (on strips of construction paper for use as garland)


Salad Spinner Ornaments


Crafts for older kids:

Popsicle stick Nativity

Draw the Grinch



How The Grinch Stole Christmas

A Creature Was Stirring

The Polar Express

Llama Llama Holiday Drama

The Night Before Christmas

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bell

The Birds of Bethlehem

Room For A Little One


Youtube Videos:

7 Best Christmas Light Shows Ever

Chip and Dale 

Santa’s Workshop

Disney Christmas Special

Silly Symphony Night Before Christmas



Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Frosty the Snowman

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation

Nightmare Before Christmas (Netflix Streaming)

Charlie Brown Christmas

The Polar Express

Thanksgiving Kindergarten Unit

Everyday we will be using the following Thanksgiving Pack. (Part 1 pgs 3-8, 11-17, 31-38, Part 2 pgs 13-17, 25-29, 36-39, Part 3 Pgs 5-7, 20-24 for the older boy, 28-29, 36-39, Part 4 Pgs. 16-17, Part 5 Pgs. 3 for the older boy, 7-8)

My older boy will be reading Thanksgiving on Thursday

My older boy and older girl will be taking a few virtual field trips here.

Materials:  Construction paper, glue, scissors, pen or fine tipped marker, crayons, printer ink and paper, cardboard tubes (toilet paper or paper towel), paper plates, Q-Tips, paint, googly eyes

Day 1:

Read I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

Make a hand wreath. (Write one thing you are thankful for on each hand)

Day 2:

Read The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving

Make Thanksgiving People.

Day 3:

Read The Berenstein Bear’s Thanksgiving Blessings

Q-Tip Painting Letters

Day 4:

Read Over The River And Through The Woods

Pop-Up Turkeys

Day 5:

Read Thanksgiving Cats

Cat cut and paste

Day 6:

Have fun exploring I Spy Thanksgiving

Handprint turkeys

Gg coloring page (gobble-gobble)

Day 7:

Read Silly Tilly’s Thanksgiving Dinner

Tee Pee craft

Day 8:

Read Cranberry Thanksgiving

Indian corn craft

Fall Kindergarten Unit

Every day we will be using pages from this Fall Pack.

Materials: printer paper and ink, scissors, glue, construction paper, crayons or markers, old worn out cds or dvds, toilet paper rolls, toilet paper, coffee filters, food coloring, 


Day 1:

Read The Search for Autumn

Oo is for oak coloring page

O printing page

Oak leaf scavenger hunt (send them out with this template to find a leaf)

Watch Acorn Becomes Oak Tree in Timelapse video


Day 2:

Read The Little Scarecrow Boy

Watch The Final Straw

Practice making scary faces from the book

Scarecrow face template

Scarecrow hat and bandanna template

Ss coloring page


Day 3:

Read It’s Pumpkin Day Mouse

Watch Rotting Pumpkin time lapse

Jj is for jack o lantern printing page

CD Pumpkin craft


Day 4:

Read Where’s My Mummy?

Mummy coloring page

Mm coloring page

Mummy craft


Day 5:

Read Dappled Apples

Aa is for apple printing page

Coffee filter art (templates here and instructions from here)


Day 6:

Read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves!

Hh coloring page

Hay coloring page

Watch Bailing Hay timelapse


Please note that some of these days may be spread out over two days.  In this case the books will be read again on the next day and any letter pages will be done as well before moving on with the activities.  I will make flashcards for each letter that we have covered and we will go over these flashcards before we do anything else each day.



Pirates Kindergarten Unit

Everyday we will be using this Kindergarten kit.

Materials: paint, paintbrush, paper plate, crayons or markers, scissors, glue, printer ink and paper, construction paper, cardstock or laminator, string/yarn, oreos, gummy worms

Day 1:

Read Eye Wonder: Pirate

Listen to the Silly Pirate Song

Pirate map cut and paste

P is for pirate printing practice


Day 2:

Read Pirates, Level 2

Pirate hat craft (cardstock or laminated paper)

Pirate printing practice


Day 3: 

Read Tough Boris

Ff coloring page

Ff is for flag coloring page

Create a flag


Day 4:

Read How I Became a Pirate

Dd coloring page

Digging dog coloring page

Crush oreos and place in bowl, bury gummy worms and have kids dig for the worms


Day 5:

Read Pirate Pete

Pp is for parrot

Parrot craft

Watch Pets 101-Parrots

Watch the dancing parrot


Day 6:

Read Little Badger, Terror of the Seven Seas

Letter Bb Coloring page

Badger coloring page

Little Critter paper doll (I’m calling him a badger!)

Pirate clothes for Little Critter


Day 7:

Read Pirates in the Park

N is for nut printing page

Cut and paint acorn template

Watch Funniest Scrat Moments (chasing a nut)


It is highly likely some of these days will stretch out for two or more days.  In that case we will redo some of the worksheets and read the book again before moving on with the other activities.  I will make a flashcard for each letter we cover and go over the flashcards first thing before starting any other activities.

Reptile Kindergarten Unit

I’m going to start keeping track of what I’m doing for my kid’s school by posting it up here.  This way all my links are in one place for me, and hopefully someone else can benefit from my work 🙂  I will primarily be posting what I am doing for my youngest two.  The first one I am going to put up is my reptile unit:

Materials: printer paper and ink, cookie cutters, dish sponges, tempura paint, pipe cleaners, ruler, paper, crayons or markers, paper plate, string, paper bowl, foil, cardstock or cardboard, glue, dishwashing soap, food coloring, paintbrushes, googly eyes

Everyday we will be using this Kindergarten Kit.

We will also be watching Magic School Bus season 2 episode 12, Cold Feet on Netflix streaming.

Please note that some of the following are affiliate links.  This means that if you purchase from one of these links I make a small commission.  Rest assured that my commission does not increase your prices whatsoever.  

Day 1:

Read Eye wonder: Reptiles

Learn about reptiles

Rr is for reptiles coloring page

Reptile sponge painting (can use cookie cutters to make the templates and use tempura paint)

Day 2:

Read Verdi 

Ss is for snake printing page 

Snake cut and paste

Snake measuring activity (scroll down to see the activity, but all of the activities on this post are amazing!)

Day 3:

Read Crictor

S is for snake coloring page

Snakes | Animals for Children video (scroll to bottom of page)

Spiral Snake craft

Day 4:

Read Look Out for Turtles!

Turtle craft

Tt coloring page

Tt printing page

Turtle cut and paste

Day 5:

Read A Color of His Own

Chameleon craft ( I will use this paint instead)

Day 6:

Read Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile

Cc is for crocodile coloring page

Cc printing page

Black Caiman video

Alligator craft (alligator…crocodile…close enough!)


Please note that more than likely some of these will be spread out over two days instead of one.  We are focusing primarily on phonics right now so when we hit a letter we don’t know very well I will split the activities up over two days, read the same book both days, and have the kids practice the letter that I have assigned both days.  I will be making flashcards each time I introduce a letter and we will go over the flashcards each day before we begin the other activities.