Homemade Taco Seasoning {in bulk}

Homemade Taco Seasoning {in bulk} | RaisingArrows.net

We eat a lot of Mexican food here.  It’s often an easy meal that requires few ingredients.  I’ve never been one for using those little packets of Taco Seasoning you buy in the store, but I do like to add some sort of seasoning to the ground beef we use to make our Mexican dishes.  This usually consists of chili powder and cumin, salt and pepper, but I was never satisfied with the taste (especially when the kids did the cooking/seasoning!).

I ran across a taco seasoning recipe on Pinterest that was just about right, but as always the portions were WAY too small.  I don’t want to mix up seasoning EVERY time I cook!

After a few tweaks, Ty has declared this DELICIOUS – so, here’s our adapted recipe in bulk form!

Homemade Taco Seasoning {in bulk} | RaisingArrows.net

Bulk Taco Seasoning
4 Tablespoons chili powder 

9 Tablespoons paprika 
3 Tablespoons cumin 
2 tablespoon onion powder 
2 tablespoon salt (we REALLY like RealSalt)
5 teaspoons garlic powder 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or ground red pepper

Mix well and store in a sealed container.  I just use an old seasoning container with a “new” handwritten label.

I like to just shake it on the meat and eyeball it, but if you want to be super scientific, use about 4 tsp per 1 pound of ground beef.

Quick Note:  I try to only use 2 lbs of hamburger for our family of 9 no matter what the dish is, and I only made the transition from 1 lb to 2 lbs a couple of children ago.  This is just one way to save money when you are cooking for a large family.


Speaking of large families…

My ebook Large Family Homeschooling is part of the Build Your Bundle Sale coming NEXT WEEK!  There is still time to enter to win $100 toward building your own homeschool bundle!
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Stop Opening Every Jar of Peanut Butter We Own!

You may be a large family if every time you turn around someone has opened a new container of peanut butter…

or mayonnaise…

or [insert name of food that already has a full container sitting open in the refrigerator or pantry].

It’s maddening!

So, I got proactive and did this:

How to stop the kids (and dad) from opening brand new food containers when there is one already open | RaisingArrows.net

X marks the spot!

This is the ONLY peanut butter jar that is allowed to be opened.  And if you can’t find the one with the X, you find mom and together the two of you will look for it before determining it is a good idea to open a new one (which will be promptly marked with an X by the way!).

This works for anything that tends to get opened without thinking.  Maple syrup, boxes of cereal, and yes, mayonnaise!

Sharpie marker saves the day!


Want to win $100 toward homeschool resources
so you can buy more peanut butter?

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Large Family Moving – Starting Over

Large Family Moving Series {starting over in a new place} | RaisingArrows.net

Over 3 years and 2 moves ago, I wrote a series on Large Family Moving.  I recently had a reader ask me to write about how we start over in each new place because that was the part that was worrying her.

I actually think I had intentions of writing such a post, but never did.  Why?  Because that part always worries me too!

I must admit, I’m not good at starting over.

I’m an introvert, so interacting with new people is always a little tenuous for me.  I am terrible at small talk and new situations.  Starting over in a new place is very much all about small talk and new situations for a good long while.

But, I have learned a few things along the way.  That said, once I finish this post, please feel free to comment away on things I didn’t think of, because like I said, I’m just not good at this starting over thing and my readers always have the best tips!

1.  Find a way to ask your questions.

You need a way to ask about doctors, churches, hair stylists, homeschool groups, and everything in between.  This can be accomplished in several different ways.  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

*Find a local homeschool group and get on their Facebook page or email list.  Even if you never participate with the group, you can get invaluable information from them.  This is where I found my kombucha scoby after I killed my old one in the move!

*Find a Facebook page or Twitter hashtag for your city where you can ask questions and learn about the community.

*Have your husband ask co-workers for ideas.  More than likely, they have been here longer than you have, so they have a better lay of the land.

*Ask people who have lived there before (if you know any).  For us, this proved to be the perfect way to get the answers we needed!  First of all, I touched base with the wife of the man who held my husband’s position here previously.  My husband’s company is very well connected, so they are always willing to share information about where they have been previously.  We also had friends who had lived in the area who were able to clue us in on homeschooling things.

*If you’re an extrovert, just ask anyone on the street!  Yeah, so not my style, but not everyone is me!

2.  Do your exploring sans children (or as few as you can manage).  I know this isn’t feasible for everyone, but as an introvert (and I’m going to guess if you really NEED this post, you are too), new situations are only compounded by lots of little people.  When our new Natural Grocers store came in, I went alone so I could get a lay of the store before doing it will all the kids in tow.  It made for a much nicer experience when I did take everyone.

The same goes for doctors appointments and such.  Take one or two children, not everyone.  Get a feel for the office, the doctor’s bedside manner, the way things operate before hauling everyone in.  This also gives you a chance to make sure the office is a good fit for you before you feel too committed to walk away.

3.  Get plugged in to a church as soon as you can.  This is one of the most difficult aspects of moving for me.  It can be super confusing for the children too with all the “trying out” new churches.  We were blessed to find a home church very quickly this time, but other moves have not been so successful.  And some churches we visited were downright scary!  However, once you find a church home, you will find that you will learn so much more about your community via your new church family.

One place we moved to we actually found our church via a woman I met when I took my kids to AWANA.  She and I became friends when we realized we had a lot in common.  When she found out we were still looking for a church (we were looking for a smaller church atmosphere than the one where AWANA was being held), she asked an old friend of hers where she went to church and that’s how we found a church family that continues to be very dear to us.

4.  Take in new things with new friends.  Once you start making friends, ask them to join you in a new excursion.  This past year, I really wanted to go to the Christmas Expo, but I needed the push to actually do it.  Inviting my pastor’s wife and her girls to come with us forced me to do something I probably would not have done otherwise.

You can also ask new friends to give you ideas for places to go and things to do in the city and then ask if you can tag along.  This is a great way to get a feel for the area.

5.  Don’t be afraid to move on.  All the advice and suggestions in the world won’t make up for personal experience.  If a doctor or dentist aren’t a good fit, move on.  If you feel uneasy at the church you’ve been attending for a few Sundays, it’s ok to check out a different church.  Don’t buy memberships to museums until you’ve gone once and made sure you really want to continue going.  (Often, it is a really good deal to buy a membership for a large family, because it typically pays for itself within a couple of visits.  This can often be done at the END of your visit without any penalty, especially if you tell the docent what you would like to do.)

Large Family Moving Series:
The Logistics
Saying Goodbye
Making an Abnormal Schedule
Unpacking
Starting Over – this post

When Your Meal Plan Falls Apart

When Your Meal Plan Falls Apart {how to get back on track} | RaisingArrows.net

My menu plan pretty much crashed and burned the past few months.  We moved, and I lost my groove.

I told you several months ago how a solid menu plan is the backbone of your day. Well, let me tell you, having mine fall apart made this beyond clear! Without this “backbone”, I had one seriously loosey-goosey day, that turned into a week, that turned into a month plus!  It was a mess!

Sadly, this isn’t the first time my menu plan has fallen apart.  Every time we have some major life event, it seems my menu plan is the first thing to take a nosedive.  However, I’ve learned a few tricks for getting things back on track quickly, and today, I’d like to share those with you (cuz I’m guessing I’m not the only one with a messy meal plan. ;) )

The first thing I did was go back to a pantry list.  I already had an old one on hand from my Once a Month Shopping series.  I had to do some revamping to make it fit our current eating habits, but that didn’t take much.

Simplified DinnersSimplified Dinners is an ebook that operates off this same principle, only it takes it a step further and gives you a pantry full of foods that will make many different meals all from the same list.  All the recipes and instructions and lists are included in the book, making it a no-brainer (precisely what you need when your meal plan has fallen through, eh?)  Working from a pantry list is one of the quickest ways to get back on track without needing to think too much.  It bought me time I needed to keep working on unpacking the house and getting back in a routine.

A couple of weeks later, I had more time to think through meals, so I pulled out my planner pages and my little red index box full of tried and true recipes.  Everyone needs the equivalent of my red index box.  You should KNOW what meals are family favorites.  You should KNOW what your family will and will not eat and how often they will eat it.  These are your GO-TO meals.  Pulling from tried and true meals to create a meal plan takes a little more energy than a static pantry list where you just cook from whatever you have on hand, but it would be beneficial to eventually create a pantry list around your tried and true meals.  (When your meal plan has fallen apart may not be that time, though.)

I’ll be honest, during this time, Pinterest was calling my name.  It wanted me to come and try NEW recipes, but when you’ve fallen off track as badly as I had, experimenting from Pinterest is NOT the answer.  I needed to get back to business first…then, get creative.

It wasn’t too long before I was back to my regular menu planning, pulling from several different resources and being much more creative!  I have found that one of the fastest ways to get me back in the meal planning mood (because let’s face it, you HAVE to be in the mood), is to find inspiration from others.  Looking through websites, cookbooks, and ebooks are a great way to find your inspiration to jump back into meal planning.

 

This past week, I decided to start being even more proactive with my meal plan.  I decided to make a 4 week rotating schedule with grocery lists on the back to keep on hand for times when my menu plan falls apart.  This coupled with a solid pantry list should help to keep everyone in the house on track and eating well!

“I Love Having a Large Family Because…” {you fill in the blank!}

"I Love Having a Large Family Because..." {you finish the sentence!} | RaisingArrows.net

A Raising Arrows reader asked if I would ask all of you to list why you love having a larger-than-average family.  I did a Top 10 Reasons to Have a Large Family a while back for the fun of it, but how about a post that is a little more serious? One that offers tons of pro-family encouragement for moms out there who need a little pick-me-up today.

So, how would you finish this sentence…

“I love having a large family because…”

Leave your response in the comments section!

And don’t forget to snag your copy of Large Family Homeschooling:

Large Family Homeschooling - releases April 1! and 33 Family Dinner Games (free for subscribers!)

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The Large Family Homeschooling eBook is Here!

The Large Family Homeschooling eBooks is Here! | RaisingArrows.net

Are you homeschooling a growing family?  Are you looking for ways to get it all done without losing your mind (and your joy)?  Do you need ideas for putting together all the pieces that make up your homeschooling day?

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Large Family Homeschooling eBook | by Amy Roberts of RaisingArrows.netThis 170 page ebook includes :

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*The best methods for homeschooling your growing family.
*Ideas for planning and record keeping.
*How to afford the large family homeschool.
*How to organize the large family homeschool
*How to handle babies and toddlers during school hours.
*How to homeschool through morning sickness and other difficult circumstances.
*How to tweak homeschooling methods to make them work for large families.

And MUCH MORE!

This ebook will give you tons of ideas and practical advice you can start implementing immediately!

It will give you the encouragement and confidence to homeschool your family with joy and gentleness!

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Large Family Homeschool eBook Resources | Amy Roberts - RaisingArrows.net

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