Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Coolidge, Arizona

Last week we packed up our minivan and made the 45 minute drive to Coolidge, Arizona. We visited one of Arizona’s National Monuments, the Casa Grande Ruins. I remember going on a field trip in elementary school to the Casa Grande Ruins and was awestruck.

During our pandemic year of homeschooling the kids we have covered ancient history. We finished reading about the fall of Rome this week and they are asking to continue their history lessons into the summer. This totally surprised me but I am going to take that win and pat myself on the back. Since they have enjoyed history lessons so much this year, I knew they would all be excited to see what archeologists have discovered in Arizona.

The ancestral Sonoarn desert people who lived in Arizona developed irrigation, farming, and trade. Casa Grande means “the great house”. At the peak of the community Casa Grande was home to 2,000 people. There is a mystery surrounding what happened to the people who lived here. By the year 1450 the ancestral Sonoran people begin to leave. This is just one year after the main house was completed. One theory is that the network of canals that had been established for irrigation and farming within the community could no longer support the population growth.

In the 1880’s more people began to visit the ruins. This resulted in souvenir hunting, vandalism, and damage to the site. The government began to work towards repairing and protecting the ruins in 1889. In 1892 President Harrison set aside one square mile of Arizona Territory surrounding the Casa Grande Ruins. It became the first prehistoric and cultural reserve established in the United States.

The park rangers asked that masks be worn within 6 feet of another group. I am guessing that will change now that the CDC has released new masking guidelines. The bathrooms were clean and there were only 5 other cars in the parking lot when we arrived.

There is no fee to visit and if you go when the weather is nice you can pack a picnic lunch and eat at one of the many shaded picnic areas on the site. If you are in Arizona wanting to see a cultural reserve be sure to check out the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

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Off The Cob Mexican Street Corn

This Off The Cob Mexican Street Corn is a super easy and tasty dish that is one of our new family favorites. It was so good when I made it that Josh asked me to write down the recipe so he could make it at the firestation. That is high praise in our family because not every meal or recipe we make at home are ones that he would want to duplicate at work.

We served this with smoked pork sandwiches and coleslaw but honestly it would be good with so many different flavor combinations. I even added the leftovers the next morning to roasted sweet potatoes, crumbled bacon, avocado, pork, and salsa for a breakfast bowl.

I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as we did.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce bag frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon blend of salt, pepper, garlic (I use this brand)
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese
  • 3-5 stems cilantro chopped fresh

Directions

  1. Heat frozen corn as desired.
  2. Combine melted butter, mayo, and lime juice. Add seasonings and mix.
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl place corn, butter/mayo dressing, sliced onions, crumbled cotija cheese, and cilantro. Fold all ingredients together.
  4. Serve warm and enjoy.
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A Morning In The Life Of Homeschool & We Finished Saxon Math 1

This entire school year I have been wanting to do a day in the life of homeschool post. Mainly I wanted to document this journey for myself so I have it to look back on in the years to come. This year has been so amazing in so many ways, but this mama is tired at the end of day. Once the kids are asleep, I am usually fighting sleep myself on the sofa at 8:30 p.m..

I was determined to get a day in the homeschool life post done before the end of the school year. And I got as far getting the morning somewhat documented. But I am totally ok with that. The year hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows and some days have been really hard trying to figure out how to mom, teach, clean, cook, etc.. Homeschooling has taught me to have more patience and to also be more flexible. This year has been a new learning curve for me in many ways but I would 100% do it all over again if given the choice. It has been a joy and privilege to watch my kids learn and to help in that process.

5:45 a.m.

This is a somewhat typical morning in our current homeschool life. Obviously each day is different so keep that in mind. I don’t wake up early every morning to exercise but if I want to get a solid workout in the time before the kids wake up tends to work best for me.

I roll out of bed and walk out to our garage. I love having all our equipment in one place. It is the best. Also we kept my lululmeon ambassador photo from years ago and I finally told Josh he could hang it. I thought it was so weird to have my picture hanging in our garage gym. But now that it is up I like it. It is still probably weird but I am ok with that for now. Josh said it motivates him will he is working out and imagines I am giving him my little pep talks like I would give to a client.

I am currently doing Mind Pump Media’s HIIT program. I am on my 4th week and really loving it. M/W/F I am doing a 15 minute HIIT and 15 minute core workout. T/TH is 20 minutes of flexibility and 10 minutes of core work. I am so sweaty on the HIIT workout days and sooooooo sore. I love it, but hate it at the same time.

6:20 a.m.

I finish my workout and come inside as the kids are coming out of their bedrooms. Maisie wants to read me The Duckling Gets A Cookie?!. Best feeling seeing your child learn to read and even better knowing you helped them learn.

I get breakfast ready for the kids and make a protein smoothie for myself. The kids have kodiak cake waffles with bacon on the side. The smoothie for me consists of chocolate premier protein, spinach, banana, hemp seed, and frozen mixed berries.

6:45 a.m.

Everyone is sitting down for breakfast and on the table is our catechism and bible study. I have done several posts on these before and you can read about these HERE and HERE.

After breakfast I clean up the dishes, sweep the floor, make sure the kitchen is ready for our homeschool day. Then while I get cleaned up from my workout the kids get to watch a t.v. show. Each morning one of them gets to pick the show and as soon as it is over the television goes off for the rest of the day. Depending on the day they may watch another show later but we really try to limit it during the our school week.

8:00 a.m.

The two youngest in our house play in their bedroom at this point while I work with the older two on Math. On this day they each had an assessment. This is Maisie’s final day of her Saxon Math 1 worksheets.

I am so proud of us! Caden still has 10 more lessons to go and he will be finished also with Saxon Math 3. I am just so proud of our family. Those books looked so daunting at the start of the school and to be at this point feels so good.

8:30 a.m.

While math is still happening I realize the 4 year olds have been very quiet. They were having fun in their bedroom pulling out all the stuffed animals from the bean bag storage and also multiple other toys.

And that is the last picture I got for the morning.

8:45 a.m.

Josh is home by now from work and Maisie is working on ReadingEggs.com. She has finished her work and Caden is starting on his math lesson now, today it is learning how to use the scale on a map.

9:30 a.m.

Everyone gets a snack and we head into the backyard to play.

10 a.m.

Back inside the house and we are now moving onto our last week of lessons in the Journey’s series. I am not sure I would use these books again if we were to continue homeschooling. I picked them because the elementary school the kids attend use the series. We wanted to make sure if we sent them back to school this year they would be using the same curriculum. Overall, they served the purpose they needed but I don’t think they work best for homeschooling and are obviously intended for the classroom.

Caden is fairly independent for the next hour, which is perfect because I can focus on Maisie. During this time they do handwriting, phonics, reading, and grammar.

11 a.m.

It is time to get ready for lunch. And this is where I am going to end this morning in the life of homeschool post. We continue school after lunch too but that is a different post for hopefully another day.

Thanks for reading!

Tam

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