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Friday, August 30, 2013

Cowboy Soup

  Cowboy Stew

I call this an open and dump recipe, because the majority of the recipe involves opening various cans and dumping them into the crock pot.

1/4 pound of bacon (optional)
1 pound of ground sausage (or 1 pound mild ground sausage & 1/2 pound hot or spicy ground sausage)
1/2 pound ground beef
1 medium chopped onion
Do not drain the following cans of beans:
     1 can kidney beans
     1 can pork & beans
     1 can chili beans
     1 large can baked beans
1 can black beans – drained
1 can white beans – drained
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. mustard
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup ketchup

Cook meat and onions in frying pan.  Add to crock pot.  Open all the cans of beans and add to crock pot.   Add all other ingredients.  Cook in crock pot on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2 –4 hours.  Serve with bread or corn bread. 

This recipe is very forgiving.  You can use any or all of the meats, and pick and choose what beans to add.  You will have to gauge this on what size of crock pot you use. I use at least a 5 quart size. I have used what ever beans I had on hand and doubled the cans if I did not have certain ones to fill the crock pot.   You need the liquid of baked beans, chili beans and pork in beans so the recipe will not be dry.  I add the liquids of what ever beans I think will add flavor.


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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Living in the Moment


        Live – Life…
              My word for the year.

I have often said – “I’m just doing life”  - and I realize that in saying this I can at times see life  as a chore , a check off list or an experience to get through. 
Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” 
I love how the message version says it:
“I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
            Real Life – Eternal Life…    
          Real life in the here – now – present time
life eternal – unending -  forevermore.
tucked away in-between those two promises is the little word…      and
I love those little words…   

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

three letters…  a little word which seems at first glance to not have much significance… 
                                                but oh, that three letter word is fierce…

and as a part of speech is a conjunction – (remember your School House Rock Videos – I love to teach grammar with those silly, wonderful videos)… 

                      conjunction unction what’s your function

Definition of AND

1—used as a function word to indicate connection or addition especially of items within the same class or type ;
                   and - a connection word  - in addition to - of the same class or type
                               in the Bible Dictionary it states that the conjunction “and” is used to state a series of facts.
     in addition to - 
              life in the here and now – life on this earth  (real life- that is messy and wonderful all at the same time)
Jesus – the lover of our soul says, – says “and”  He tells us as a matter of fact-  that I am connecting your life in the here and now to eternity…
              Life eternal – Heaven (eternal life –that is  beautiful and glories with no more tears or regrets)
                                                                                   real life and eternal life

    “Heaven meets earth like       
            a sloppy wet kiss”
       Heaven connecting with Earth 
                 Heaven and Earth…    

and…  not one or the other…   but both…   two realities joined together by one fierce, powerful truth… 
                        seems impossible but when Jesus is the word “and”  - then life is…
                                             more and better than we ever dreamed of…  life to the FULL.

living in that promise~ Pin It

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School–A Day in the Life Week

Curriculum Week in the 2013 Not Back to School Blog Hop

A Day in the Life Week

We started school last week and spent the week “easing” into our schedule.  I have two in public school, my special son returning to his special needs class and my unique son who all his life has been homeschooled, is attending his last year of high school at our local HS.  My Rock Star Son is driving in with his Dad at 5 in the morning and attending the  Jr. College in the town his dad works at.

So we were all back into a new routine this week. 

I am more of a routine person than a ridged schedule person.  I love schedules… how they look and that I can make them and have goals, but I do not like to be “locked” into them.
Each year I revisit our School Touchstones to remind me of the reasons we homeschool and the importance of FLOW in our days:

Touchstones: As a metaphor, a touchstone refers to any physical or intellectual measure by which the validity or merit of a concept can be tested.

F – Family Needs
L – Learning Moments – Learning Center – Love of Learning
O– Ordered By Routine
W – Work Binders – Work Stations – Worship Him in all we do

Progress is born out of FLOW…  (FLOW is more important than time frames)

Going over these points will ground  me in my planning stage for the year, as I can tend to “over plan” and get overwhelmed at the big picture.  These touchstones help me zero in on what is important to our family.

I shared how the Lord speaks to me in seasons in a previous post.   The past few years I have adapted our school year to reflect the four seasons.  We have four quarters: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring.  We end up schooling year round but our summer quarter is a light schedule with 3-4 goals in mind.

Here is one of our summer quarter plans:
This is our daily schedule for Autumn:

This year I have 2 Binders set up for our school year:

I have a section for each of the girls. 
I record their progress and grades in this section. 
I have individual course sheets for each subject in their sections.  


Yearly Planner ~  
This binder has all my planning sheets.  
There are four sections – one for each season quarter.  
I keep attendance sheets and a copy of the course of study for our school.

Well, that gives you an overview of our plans & schedule for the year, and with anything they are just that  - plans.  


The LORD directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.  
                 Psalms 37:23

living for His delight~

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A New School Year

A new school year, a new house and a new name…

In our old house our school’s name was Shining Star Christian Academy…

In celebration of a new home came a new school… so it is only fitting to have a new name…

we are now…      


    Seasons of Life Christian Academy

The Lord has always spoken to me in terms of seasons.  Knowing what season I am in has been important to me, especially with education our children at home.  I have had to evaluate and re-evaluate our schedule, routine, goals, and priorities depending on what season we have been in.  Do we have a new baby (out of that stage now), what are the dynamics of my children’s ages, needs, interests.  What are the dynamics of our families needs, finances and schedules. And the list goes on.  One of the blessings of Homeschooling is being able to work our family dynamics around our school year and to work our school year around our family dynamics . 

Seasons…  this year with 3 students at home, all girls and all at the level of reading and writing more independently  - we are entering a season of being able to dig deeper… 

deeper in the word together…

       deeper into living books together…

              deeper into creative writing together…

                    deeper into God’s creation together…

                           deeper into learning new skills together…

This is an exciting season, one that will take commitment and grace…

I am looking forward to this depth (I do love deep things).



They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.

                                   Psalm 1:3


A new school year… a new season,

Resting in this season~

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to School–Student Photo Week

   Student Photo Week

Over the years we have tried to take back to school pictures at the beginning of the school year. 

This past showed the last two years of pictures:

Back to School 2012

Back to School 2011

This year I was able to use pictures taken by my missionary daughter who is also into photography:

BrittAney Photography






I have 3 students at home this year  and 2 students in public school at our local High School:

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                                  clip_image003[3]      clip_image003[8]  

and we can’t forget the teachers of this establishment:


Living those “back to school” moments~

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to School – School Room


School Room Week
We have been tweaking our Family Room - School Room since our move and trying to make it more functional. We are not totally there yet but I like the changes we have made.

here are some pics from when we first moved in:


We have not made too many changes but have taken out some of the cubes so that it is not so crowded.  I have organized the learning center (the cube area) to better meet our needs for this school year.  We were not using all of the items. I moved my Office Apprentice so that it is next to my desk.  I will use it more with it being easier to access. The command center is also changed a bit to better meet our needs.  I now have all the supplies and the girls workbox binders under the command center area.  I think this will work much better. I will post updated pictures soon.

We do our morning devotions, Bible Time and Read-a-louds in the Living Room.  We like the coziness of that room for those activities.


So that is our school room area.  I love that it is in the area that we do life.

living by His grace~
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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back to School – Curriculum Week


It is back to school time at the Chellsen Clan household.

This year brings some changes for our school year for the coming year. We have a new home, which means a new school environment.  We have a new school name, we went from Shining Star Christian Academy to Seasons of Life Christian Academy. (I will share more on why the name change in a future post)

My unique son will be finishing his last year (senior year) at our local High School.  It is a small school that offers many fun and extra classes in the arts, which we are really excited about.  We have been able to meet with the counselor and hand pick his classes and talk out options and extra activities.  They have been so helpful.  My special son has been going to the high school special needs class since we moved, so I will have both my high schoolers out of the house this year for school.

The girlie girls and I have a fun year planned.  For our main frame we will be doing U.S. History through the American Girl Series, using Portraits of American Girlhood.   

We will cover an overview of early American History with Beautiful Feet’s curriculum. BF brings you through Abraham Lincoln and the Civil war.  We will use   History Pockets and Teacher File Box  units to suppliment with each monthly unit.        

I love Beautiful Feet’s timelines and we will be incorporating that, along with adding pictures for our additional units to them. 

I want to really work on creating and ongoing timeline for us.  I do not want to have one for each of the girls because, honesty having three thick notebooks with all the some stuff in it hanging out for years just feels to cumbersome to me.  So we will work on completing one Family Timeline Book.


This is an overview of our units per month.  We will cover one girl each l_welcome-to-felicity-s-world-1774-american-girl-1b48month and the time period of history for that girl.   I also make my own notebook pages to add to our units and will be doing this for our American Girl Notebooks.   I will be using these with the Welcome to …. World Books.

imageimage image 


Last year we had these containers for our continent boxes and this year they will be recycled for our American Girl Boxes.  Each box will have the American Girl books, facts sheets for each girl, history books or information sheets for that time period, and anything else that applies. .    

This is a run down on our main frame which usually focuses on our History.  This is a copy of our Golden Girls Course of Study for this year.  This will give you an idea of the other subjects we will be covering.  We are participating in a bi-monthly co-op in which we will be completing different science units. 

We will have my missionary daughter home, visiting for a week, which we are all very excited about.  Planning on taking some new family pics, and graduations pictures for my unique son.  I want her to take the girls back to school pictures also.

We will be starting school the week of the 19th.  Our Schools here start that week and my rock star son is starting Jr. college the same day.  So it is back to school time for all of us. Looking forward to ALL that this new season has for us.  

living by His grace~
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