7 Days of Summer Crock Pot Recipes

I have fallen in love. This is not a person I am in love with, rather I have fallen in love with my crockpot! Do you know how easy it is to throw the food in the crockpot in the morning and not worry about it all day long, go about your day and then sit down and eat at supper time? It is as easy as finding the right recipe.

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Now, everyone loves a good meal on a cold winter day, but what about during the summer? Do you put your crockpots away for those warm months? Forget all about them? You need to change that!!! I have found that there are A LOT of yummy summer types of recipes that you can make, and keep your house cool from not using your oven or stove.

I have decided that I NEEDED to share some of these yummy, delicious recipes with you so that you could try them out for yourself.

First of all, I wanted to say, Pinterest is wonderful for finding recipes! I have a CrockPot recipe board over there that I keep adding to. But I also love The Frugal Girls! They have some of the best recipe collections I have seen! Have you checked them out yet?

Ok, my favorite summertime crockpot recipes!

1. Crockpot BBQ Ranch Chicken Drumsticks

7 Days of Summer Crock Pot Recipes

Oh, how yummy!! One thing I like to do, is just before serving our drumsticks, after they have cooked all the way, is to throw them on the grill for 2-3 minutes per side. It gives them that grilled taste, without the dried out meat!

2. Slow Cooker Hawaiian Sweet Pork

7 Days of Summer Crock Pot Recipes

The first thing you think of when you read Hawaiian? Not cold, not snowy. Nice and warm beaches and sun. So this is a given for a summer meal!

3. CrockPot Kansas City BBQ Bacon Chicken Sandwich

7 Days of Summer Crock Pot Recipes

Bacon makes all things good!! BBQ sandwiches are a wonderful summer dish with coleslaw and potato salad!

4. Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Mexican Coleslaw

7 Days of Summer Crock Pot Recipes

Another one of those summer meals that you love, but this time with a little twist! This is a yummy way to change up the good ole’ sandwich!

5. Easy Crock Pot Beef Stew

7 Days of Summer Crock Pot Recipes

Sometimes even during the summer, you need that comfort food! This is one of those go to comfort foods that I love!

6. Mississippi Roast


7 Days of Summer Crock Pot Recipes

Ok, this is that one meal that is good no matter what season it is! My mom made it first and we fell in love. It is now one of those meals that happens at least once a month, sometimes more!

7. Easy Blueberry Crumble Cake

7 Days of Summer Crock Pot Recipes

Yes, I am sharing a dessert recipe that can be done in the crock pot! Have you ever tried these? If you have plans to grill, why not make a yummy dessert in the crock pot to go with the meal?!

It is so easy to use your crockpot all year long! I hope you don’t hide that wonderful appliance just because it is summertime!

What is your favorite summer time crockpot recipe? You have to have at least one, right? And if you don’t, which one of these will you be trying this week? Let me know in the comments below!

8 Must Try Tips for Homeschooling with Little Ones

We all know that homeschooling involves the whole family. The whole family includes those little ones you have also! While we all know how our children will behave in different situations, it is great to have a list of ideas to try!

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8. Homeschool during nap time

 This is one of the easiest ideas if you have the option. That means, if you are able to:

                1. Get your little one to sleep at a regular time every day.

                2. Get your little one to sleep for a decent amount of time each day.

                3. And finally, if you only have a little bit of school that would be able to fit into that time period.

This gets difficult once you have more and older students. You are not always able to get school done in the time that your little one is sleeping. But take advantage of this time while you can!

7. Baby wearing!

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

 I love this one. If you are wearing baby, you are able to get more things done while still keeping baby happy. However, once baby gets older, you won’t always be able to do this and will have to find another idea.

6. Sensory Table/Bin

 This is one of those double edged swords in my house. We love sensory bins, but they get messy if mommy isn’t watching. A toddler or preschoolers can stay busy for any amount of time from 1 minute to 1 hour. If this is something you want to check out, I have a Pinterest Board with sensory ideas on there.

5. Netfilx

I know…the TV is not a baby sitter, but have you seen some of the shows out there? Leap Frog has some great educational episodes and our all-time favorites are Veggie Tales! Little Miss LOVES the Veggie Tales and I love knowing that she can be busy with something that I love as well for ½ an hour while I help her brothers with something.

4. Books

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

If your children are anything like Little Miss, a stack of books will give you a good chunk of time to spend with the older children. This girl of mine loves to read books, and I love to be able to spend time reading with her!

3. Coloring Books/Sheets

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

This is a great way to allow the younger children to sit down with you and keep busy at the same time. I have a Pinterest Board of fun coloring pages, and we love to find Dollar Store coloring books as prizes for good behavior. It is especially fun when mommy has some time and is able to sit down and color with them!

2. Computer Games

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

Another one of those, the computer is not the babysitter ones! I know I shouldn’t leave Little Miss alone in front of a computer for hours, but when I need to help one of the boys for a little bit and she is itching to do something, turning on a fun game really helps! We love using Stafall.com, Essential Skills Advantage, and LaLaLogic for helping her learn while still having fun!

1. Include them in your lessons!

8 Must Try Ideas for Homeschooling with Littles

 Little Miss loves being a part of school. She has since day one. We do as many lessons together as we can. These are simple, Bible, History and Read-A louds are able to be done together with each group doing work that relates to their age/grade.

I loved reading Preschoolers and Peace, which helped me learn to handle our age range within our homeschool classroom as well. If my 8 ideas are not enough, head over and check out what Kendra Fletcher has to say about homeschooling with little ones underfoot!

Do you have young ones hanging around while you homeschool? What are some ideas you use that are different from mine? I love trying new things with my little ones!

My Top 5 Favorite Beginning Readers Programs


I was recently asked by a friend about a good beginning reader program that she could use over the summer. That got me thinking…what are my favorites? What works for us? And what does Ray Ray like the best? So, what did I tell her? Yeah, that took a little thinking and narrowing down 🙂 I have seen and tried many, and we are still trying some. However, I have narrowed my favorites list down to 5. Want to know what they are? Here I go:


1. My most favorite so far:

Reading the Alphabet over at This Reading Mama

Becky also has a Phonics By the Book program. We haven't gotten to that part yet, but it looks just as promising and we are excited! Ray Ray loves the little readers that make it easy to build his confidence. The main focus is on the reading, but patterns and numbers are added in as a bonus too! Becky offers her program as a FREE weekly download, or you can pay the small fee to have it all together and not worry about where to find the next week at the last minute (like me). Click the photo for one of our many weeks using the program!

Reading the Alphabet


2. We have recently fallen in love with BOB Books. Haven't heard of them? You NEED too! I have a simple Pinterest Board started with a few links…but those few links are wonderful ones that go good with the books! If you have a child who loves to be independent, these are for you! When your child lays on the kitchen floor while you cook supper and reads to you…yep, its a good program 🙂


3. One of the first programs we started using with Ray Ray was Carisa's programs from 1+1+1=1. She has many wonderful different age programs and they are all wonderful! The You Can Read Bundle is good for the sight words that kids need to know because they can't sound them out. 


4. Another good sight word program that we have had fun with was Reading The Easy Way with Beth over at 123 Homeschool 4 Me. This was a fun game based way to learn our sight words. Add in some fun books after you learn enough sight words and you have a confident child who doesn't know they are learning! Beth has even added on to the original program and made new levels for when your child moves on from the first one!


5. Finally…a program that I haven't used, but love anyway! Easy Peasy, All In One Homeschool. This is a full homeschool curriculum, Pre-K all the way up to high school. And guess what? Lee has put this all up online for FREE!!! This program uses the McGuffey Primer for the beginning reading program. I used Lee's Pre-K program with Ray Ray when we first started homeschooling. I love the way she has this set up and we do use bits and pieces of the site. That is why I have picked it as a favorite even though I haven't used it personally.


So there you have it. My top 5 favorites when it comes to beginning readers. Have you used any of these? What are your favorites? I would love to hear what you have to say!




Make sure you visit the link below and see the lists that others have posted this week! 



7 Days of Elf on the Shelf


Aniken in the elf who runs around our house from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. He had a lot of fun last year, so we are excited to see what he is going to do this year. So far we haven't had any crazy antics happen, but I suspect that will begin really soon!



Aniken arrived with the book and a small gift for each child. They were so excited to sit down and read the book, and someone has picked it up each day since than! It was fun to have CBS put the half hour show on TV right away too…and we recorded it and have watched it numerous times!



Aniken sat on the picture up on the living room shelf one day. He was just watching everyone and everything they did. Funny, the next day he left a note about being good (mommy forgot to take a picture of this).



Daddy found Aniken checking out the gerbil of the house. We think he was busy inside the cage when he heard Daddy wake up and got stuck trying to sneak out!



Visiting Split Rock Lighthouse and being able to watch everyone again from way up high!



What in the world Aniken?? TP on the Christmas tree?? The kids got a kick out of this one…They seen the TP before they saw Aniken and started laughing right away.



Little Miss was a little upset to find Aniken inside her stocking! Who would have thought she would be crying over this one! Ooops…



Hanging out with the fish! I guess mommy wasn't able to clean the fish tank that day (darn!) Everyone found him right away in the morning though!


We have a lot of fun with Aniken and can't wait to see what he has planned for us! I will keep you posted on what happens next 🙂





10 of My Favorite Pictures

I haven't done a Top Ten Tuesday (now List It Tuesday) in awhile. I am going to have fun with this one and do a favorite pictures post. Well here it goes. My favorite pictures as of today!


Little Miss loves to color! 



Ray Ray loves listening to Moe Man read



When your son tells you at 8am he wants to color Noah's Ark, you let him color Noah's Ark!


I love this picture of us from last winter…



Moe Man and his Adventure Bible, who knew that I could enjoy this as much as him!


Who said read a-louds had to be done by mom or dad? Moe Man does good too!


This will always be a favorite of my great grandma and me

Jordan and Grandpa

And now Moe Man has a good one with his great, great grandpa



Daddy teaching Little Miss gun safety



I smile every time I look at this. She is just begging to feed the deer!



Daddy and Ray Ray reading science, he loves learning with daddy!


There they are…my favorite 10! I could post a lot more, but it might get long 🙂