It has been an interesting Lent so far. The weather has been all sorts of wonky. Snow and wind followed by lots of rain and mud everywhere. We are still waiting on the insurance adjuster to fit us into her schedule so we can get an estimate on damage costs. For some reason she is having a hard time remembering which city we live near and keeps scheduling us on days she is not actually in our area.
Almost the entire crew has been sick for the past two weeks or so. (And did I mention a 4 week business trip was scheduled for someone during this time? Because I am so lucky.) It started with a stomach bug. A vicious one at that. And in case you were wondering, a stomach bug making the rounds in a large family causes serious laundry issues. During which time the washing machine decided to start not working exactly right. We thought a couple of the older kids were no longer contagious. They'd been healthy for over 24 hrs and were the first to catch it. So some of us went to Stations and then the kids went to a retreat that weekend. And almost everyone they had contact with got sick. Because we like to share. I do believe we were generous and passed this bug along to several homeschool families and the entire youth group. And people say that homeschooled kids won't learn to socialize and share with others. I say they excel at it. Seriously. But if you are reading this and your kids/family got sick I am so sorry.
At the same time a respiratory bug hit several of us as well. The two of us who are most susceptible to respiratory issues have been rather sick for the past week. Several of the other kids are mostly sleeping it off and staying quarantined in their rooms. Except when they aren't. Then again, when you share your bedroom with 2 or 3 other people, I'm not sure staying in your room is an effective quarantine anyway.
The kids have been sick enough that they likely would have missed most of school this week. Especially the ones who have been hit with both bugs. One kid just might have thrown up in the middle of class and another one fell asleep while logged in, watching class. But with the online school, I'm finding there is nothing to really do to get much leeway from the teachers. Which is incredibly frustrating to me. You can fill out a form but on days there are no live classes, it won't do much for you. Given that most assignments are due on non class days, this causes issues. And the teachers are not responding to my emails anyway. One of the negatives of the current school.
So the last few days we've been eating lots of soup. Have I mentioned that I love soup for feeding a crowd? Pretty much always easy to stretch, easy on the budget, and it keeps everyone happy. At least around here. Homemade alphabet soup was on the menu yesterday. Alphabet soup and kindergarten aged kids is always fun. Ellie might have spent more time finding letters in her soup than eating.
Anyway, here's a super easy, kid friendly, kid cookable recipe. Serves a crowd (or a large sized family).
2 28 oz cans of tomato sauce
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 lb of beef of some sort (I've used stew meat, leftover pot roast, a cut labeled as sandwich steaks)
assorted frozen vegetables (as much as you like but I wouldn't use less than 3 cups for our crew)
3 28 oz cans of water plus beef bullion or use the equivalent in broth (broth is best but some days call for a short cut)
1 cup or so of alphabet pasta
Cut up the meat small. That way a little goes a long way. Stir everything together other than the pasta and let it cook until the meat is cooked. Then add in the pasta and let it cook a bit. The little suckers soak up a ton of liquid and double or triple in size as they cook so you may find you need to add extra water after they cook. Obviously, this is a super tweakable recipe. Use what you have. This week we threw in carrots, peas, green beans, and corn. If you are feeling up to it, serve it with rolls or muffins or bread. I handed the kids a package of crackers last night because everyone was sick. Short cuts are a wonderful thing to embrace some days.
I have to admit that I am not sure if most of my kids have ever actually had the canned version of this stuff but I've gotten no complaints on the real version.
What are your favorite sick family tricks to keep Mom sane?