Freezer-Friendly Crock Pot Turkey Curry Chili

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I am just dipping my toes into the world of curry, thanks to this recipe from my mom.  It is delicious, can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd, and is only 185 calories per serving!!!!  Oh, and did I mention it is freezer-friendly and it goes in the crock pot?  THIS. IS. A. WINNER.

 

Crock Pot Turkey Curry Chili

Serves 4-6

1 lb. ground turkey
1 cup grated/shredded carrots
1 can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1 can tomato soup
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
2 1/2- 3 tablespoons curry powder
Shredded coconut for a garnish.

*You can add garbanzo beans and/or chickpeas as well

Serve over coconut rice and/or with naan bread.  I think these sautéed sugar snap peas go well with it also!

(print the recipe here)

 

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1.  Brown the ground turkey over medium heat until cooked through.

 

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2.  Grate 1 cup’s worth of carrots.

 

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3.  Add your diced tomatoes and tomato soup (I didn’t have any tomato soup on hand, so I used tomato sauce and it turned out just fine–tomato soup is just slightly sweeter).

 

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4.  Add your curry powder.  If you are making it for your family with young children, I would err on the side of less spice (1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons, perhaps).  You can always add a little more at the end if it isn’t spicy enough.

 

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 5.  Add 1/4 cup of coconut milk (save the rest to make coconut rice to serve it with).

 

 

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6.  Now that everything is in your crockpot, stir it all together.

 

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7.  Cook on low 6-8 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.

 

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Spoon over a bed of coconut rice, sprinkle with a little coconut, and prepare for the deliciousness!  One of my children accidentally switched my crock pot to “boil” at some point during the cooking time (which I didn’t even know it could do)…so it turned out slightly thicker than it normally would.

 

To freeze:  Brown ground turkey until cooked through.  Add remaining ingredients and mix in a gallon size freezer bag.  Freeze.  When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then toss in the crockpot in the  morning!  

 

Check out more of our favorite recipes here and on our Pinterest board.

A Solution for Organizing Headbands and Bows

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Last week I asked for tips on the best ways to go about organizing headbands and bows for girls.  There were so many great responses (you can read them all here) and I think I figured out a method of organizing all the bows we have coming out of our ears.  :)

First of all, I decided it would work best if I separated the headbands and alligator clip bows.  I really liked this headband holder, but unfortunately we already had too many headbands to all fit on here (I know, I know…it’s crazy).  :)

So I reverted back to my trusty over-the-door shoe organizer (that we also use for school supplies and scarves/hats in other areas of the house).  I color-coordinated the headbands so the will be easy to find.

 

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Obviously, if you have accordion-style closet doors, this won’t work for you.  Be sure to check out all the other suggestions from our Facebook friends!

 

Next, I needed a solution for the alligator clip bows.  We don’t have very many of these yet because Baby Girl’s hair isn’t long enough to hold them in place.  But I found a birdcage similar to this one at Hobby Lobby and spray painted it with some pink spray paint I already had on hand (it was a teal color to begin with).

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Want to see more of our nursery?  Check it out here.  

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I put felt pads on the bottom to keep it from scratching the dresser.

 

 

How do you organize your daughter’s bows and headbands???

 


A Back to School Prayer for our Kids

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Sometimes I get frustrated that the Bible gives us such little explicit instruction on the task of raising children.  Honestly, there are few things that matter more than raising up the next generation to love the Lord.  I have been a little weepy at the thought of my firstborn starting first grade this week.  His love for life and zeal for God is amazing (and encourages me daily), but there is still so much I feel like we need to teach him.

As I was pondering all of this over the weekend, I began thinking about Jesus and how Mary must have felt when he was growing up.  Obviously Jesus was the perfect Son of God and would never sin even in his youth…but I find comfort in knowing that even so, Mary and Joseph probably discussed the best ways to bring him up just like my husband and I do about our very imperfect children.  The Bible tell us so little about Jesus’s childhood.   But there is one tiny verse that encompasses the monumental years of his youth that I have been dwelling on:

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
-Luke 2:52

As school begins once again, this is the verse I am praying for my children, specifically for my oldest.  It includes three of the most important aspects of a child’s life:  mind, body, and spirit.  Each of these aspects come with their own strengths and weaknesses, with obstacles and challenges to overcome in every facet of life.

 

In Wisdom

Lord, I pray that you will allow Caleb to grow in wisdom this year.  I pray that he will learn everything he is expected to know academically.  I pray that he will be successful in his studies and that he will be a diligent worker in what is asked of him.  Most of all, Lord, I pray that you would allow Him to grow in YOUR wisdom.  Help him to learn more about your character through his interactions with others.  Help the scriptures and stories we have been sharing with him from your Word to be a lamp to his feet and a light to his path.  Give us, his parents, the wisdom to help him discern between right and wrong in the situations he is faced with this year.  Above all else, help him learn to love You more.

 

In Stature

Lord, I thank you for the lives of our children.  I thank you that they are healthy.  I pray that you will protect their bodies and help them to continue to grow strong.  Protect them from illness and harm, Lord.

As school begins, I pray that Caleb will know that he is created in your image.  I pray that he will know that is “fearfully and wonderfully made”.  I pray that he will know that You created him exactly the way that you want him to be.  At times, words from others can be cruel.  Protect his heart and help him to rest in the truth that he is a priceless gift to us and, most importantly, to You…so much so that you sent your son for him.

 

In Favor with God and Man

Lord, I pray that you would allow Caleb to be a light for you.  I pray that he would be obedient to his teachers and kind to his classmates.  I pray that he will show kindness and compassion to everyone, but especially those who are treated poorly by others.  Give him the strength to stand up for the outcasts.  I pray that he will have integrity to do the right thing even when no one is looking.  Help him to surround himself with people who will help him grow closer to you.  I pray that he will be both a leader and a follower– a follower of yours but a leader for his peers.  Help his words and actions to be pleasing to you.

 

All this I ask in the name of your son Jesus.  Amen.

 


 

No matter whether your child will be attending public school, private school, or will be homeschooled, I think this prayer is all-encompassing for what we desire for our kids.  And I fully realize I am asking God for a lot…I certainly don’t expect my children to be perfect.  In fact, I need to pray much of this same prayer for myself.  But this is what I most desire for the lives of my children.

When we place the well being of our children in God’s very capable hands through prayer, we are surrendering control to Him.  I’m not sure there is anything else as equally scary, freeing, and comforting as this.  All I know is that He is certainly more capable than I am!

 

 

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PS- I thought I would create a printable scripture card for those of us who wish to consistently pray this prayer for our kids throughout the year.  Stick it on your bathroom mirror or in the visor on your car…any place that you will see it regularly.  There are 4 identical cards on a page…you can print one for yourself and give the others to friends/neighbors if you would like.

Click on the image below to access the printable file:

 

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Is your child heading off to school soon?  What else would you add to this prayer?  

 

 

 

10 Things Every Teacher Wants You to Know…But Won’t Tell You

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As a former first grade teacher and now a parent, I have seen both sides of the fence when it comes to schooling.  I have said it a thousand times and I will say it again…I would be a much more understanding teacher had I been a parent first!  There are SO MANY emotions that are involved when you hand your beloved child over to the care of a stranger and EVERYTHING said about your child (both positive and negative) is taken to heart.

Likewise, however, I think it’s important that parents recognize the growing demands of teachers and give them the respect that is due.  Teaching is hard work…and it is getting only harder with all of the budget cuts and increasing class sizes.  I’m playing “devil’s advocate” by sharing just a few things that I think parent’s should be aware of  as well as sharing some suggestions from teachers who responded to this question on my Facebook page.

 

 

What Every Teacher Wants You to Know…But Won’t Tell You:

1.  Your respect means the world to me.  I truly care about your child and am trying to do my best to make sure that she is learning!  Please show your child that you respect me by talking positively about me in front of her and backing me up when there are discipline issues at school.

 

2.  We are a TEAM.  We are both working towards the same goal when it comes to your child–helping him learn and be successful!  If there is an issue and I share it with you, it does NOT mean that I don’t like your child…actually, it means that I care enough about your child to help him resolve any things prohibiting him or anyone else in my class from learning.

 

3.  If your child is five years old or older, please make sure she knows how to tie her shoes…or buy Velcro shoes.  Taking time to tie the shoes of multiple children in my class only takes away time that would otherwise be used for instruction.

 

4.  Please don’t tell me your child is bored.  I try to make learning as interesting and engaging as I can and telling me this makes it seem like you don’t think I am doing my job.  Many times what might appear to be boredom is often a lack of self-control and/or self-regulation (which typically works itself out with maturity).  If we need to work on teaching your child how to cope with down time, what to do if he finishes early, or how he can be challenged, let’s work together and come up with some solutions.

 

5.  I put a lot of work into the parent newsletters that I send home.  There is also lots of important information included, so please take just a few minutes to read it and check your child’s backpack every day.

 

6.  Please bring individually wrapped or pre-cut birthday treats that are ready to serve.  Trying to cut a cake while 26 (or more) hungry mouths are (not-so-patiently) waiting can often lead to complete chaos.  And when you send a snack like applesauce or pudding, don’t forget the spoons!

 

7.  Don’t assume that just because you struggled with a specific subject in school (i.e. math) that your child will as well.  Always encourage your child in every subject, not just those that interest you.

 

8.  Let your child make mistakes and try to do things by himself.  Don’t rescue him whenever he can’t figure something out.  It gives your child a feeling of power and control when he can handle things independently.

 

9.  Make sure your child gets plenty of rest each night.  Elementary-school children need at least 10 hours of sleep every night.  Don’t overdo it when it comes to extracurricular activities–children need down time just like adults!

 

10.  YOU are your child’s first (and most important) teacher.  Trust your instincts.  I have your child for 9 months and you have them for their entire lives–don’t underestimate your importance when it comes to your child’s education!  Make your home a learning oasis and read to her every day!

 

You can read more responses from teachers here.

 

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Edible Peanut Butter Playdough

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This fun peanut butter playdough recipe can double as a snack or dessert.  Not only is it super fun to play with, it really is delicious (believe me, I should know…I ate about half of it)!   I shared this edible playdough recipe a couple years ago when we were learning about butterflies (and used it to demonstrate the phases of a butterfly’s life), but I thought it was worthy of sharing again as we recently made some more to play with.

 

 

Here’s what you’ll need:  Nonfat dry milk, peanut butter, and honey!  

 

 

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 1.  Mix 1 cup of peanut butter, 3/4 cup nonfat dry milk, and 3 tablespoons of honey.

 

 

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2.  Mix until mostly smooth and no longer sticky to touch.  Add more dry milk if it continues to stick to your hands.

 

 

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 3.  Have your kiddos wash their hands and then let them have fun molding the playdough on a clean surface…we broke out our alphabet cookie cutters to make letters as well.

 

 

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Check out more fun snack ideas here.