General Longstreet Museum

Today we ventured out in the rain to visit the General Longstreet Museum while my parents are in town for the week. This was a charming little museum that was a great surprise once we explored the inside.

Building in the back is the museum and to the right is the gift shop

When we pulled into the drive we were all a bit worried about how small the museum building was and how long we had just driven in the rain for this adventure. We were all in for such a surprise when we met the caretaker of the museum. This kind gentleman unlocked the museum and told us to have fun exploring, if the items were out on tables then feel free to touch! What a wonderful instruction for this very hands on homeschooling family and boy did we have fun exploring the museum.

Battle map
Jacket that was out on the bed upstairs
Some of the few pieces that were in cases

After exploring the inside of the museum we headed over to the gift shop to check it out. I am so glad that we decided to stop in the gift shop and not make a run back to the truck in the rain. Once inside the shop we got to chatting with the caretaker and he shared wonderful surprises that were in the back office with us. Amazing things happen when you mention that your family recently moved here from Japan and that we are homeschoolers. (Fellow homeschoolers don’t let me down with the question asking and attentiveness.)

Replica uniform from the Union Scottish regiment
Soldier and son

After we had talked and seen lots of hidden surprises we thought that our trip was done and we were surprised yet again. We were taken into the tailor shop and shown how the replica uniforms are created from start to finish but creating the patterns and then using the different materials and accessories.

Caretaker showing us one of his button collections and explaining the different designs

While in the tailor shop we were given the rich history of the building and many more lessons on the different material types and what uniforms they would have been used for. Zeeva was invited back to take sewing lessons from this wonderful gentleman and we were told to make sure to come back and visit when it isn’t raining.

If you are ever in Russellville, TN please be sure to stop by the museum. http://www.longstreetmuseum.com/index.htm

Tennessee

Our family has finally made it to Tennessee after the craziest move in the history of moves. While the entire world shut down from the pandemic our family was caught in a limbo of moving or staying. This was of course something that the military never saw coming and had no way to prepare, everyone was scrambling for information and instructions. Since Chris was coming to Tennessee for recruiting we were initially told that our family would move on time. AWESOME!! While Japan was amazing and we love the people and country it was time for us to get back to the US after seven years of being overseas. Let the hoop jumping commence and scramble to get everything lined up and scheduled. We had to argue with the local personal property office about packing our stuff out since there was a massive shut down and no guidance, finally got that taken care of and our stuff packed up and shipped off. The afternoon of our final crate being sealed we received the email that our family was extended. AHHH!!! This began our adventure of living out of suitcases and on temporary furniture for three months. After all of this we found out the day we moved into the hotel that our tickets had not been booked and we would be extended another week, not our idea of fun to be stuck in a hotel for a week with the kids plus it was the week that the heat decided to show up. We finally made it on the plane and to Tennessee.

Tennessee has been wonderful for our family, this was a super quick transition since Chris had to get down to Florida for school. We stayed with family in west Tennessee for a few weeks and then made our way east to close on the house. We had done everything for the house online and the first time that we actually saw the house was during final walk through. This was exactly what we originally had said we didn’t want to do but with the market we needed to move fast. We closed on the house on a Tuesday and Chris left for Florida that following Sunday, talk about a fast transition. The kids and I have had a blast settling in to country living and exploring the local area.

We have already had family come to stay for the weekend and help paint some of the bedrooms. More family will be coming at the end of the month and I can’t begin to describe how amazing it feels to know that family and friends are just a road trip away. During all of the transition of settling into our home and figuring out life in this area we decided to adopt two dogs. While I had originally said we will not be getting a dog anytime soon and when we did it would only be one dog my main point was no hounds because i don’t want to listen to the howling. We are now the proud owners of two blue tick hound mixes!

I am going to attempt to keep a schedule for new blog uploads and have them happen once a week. Come back and follow along in our journey of homesteading and homeschooling!

Indian Butter Chicken in the pressure cooker

I have been trying to figure out how to do this for some time now and I think I got it. I have been spending lots of time researching this and building a history unit study for the girls. I have made it further on this than the study but my problem is I want to study Japan since we live here but all the resources I can find are just about the basics that the girls are already familiar with. I think it is time to start digging deeper. If you have any good resources please send them my way.

Here goes I am going to try to share a recipe with you all. I attempted yet again to make Indian Butter Chicken and finally had a good turn out. I love using my pressure cooker which you can find the link for here.

I love this thing and it is on sale right now. I might have to get a second one since my slow cooker gave out on me and I love making my own stock. I whipped up this amazing dinner the other night and today I have had a soup going in it.

So I will try and be better about taking more pictures through the cooking process but this is the end result.

IMG_0291


Pressure Cooker Indian Butter Chicken

2 lbs chicken, I used 4 thin breasts because that’s what I had.
1 stick of butter
4 teaspoons of curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
10 oz (ish) heavy cream, can use 1 can of coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
6 oz tomato paste
1 onion minced
5-6 cloves garlic minced
Salt to taste
2 tbsp corn startch
1 tbsp water

Melt butter in pressure cooker and then add onion and garlic. Cook until about half way done. Add cream, stock and paste. Mix well.
Add spices and let cook for about 2 min. Add chicken and make sure to cover with the sauce. Use the chicken/meat button for 15 min.
Let natural release for about 10 min and then chop chicken if you choose to. Add corn starch and water mixture and let boil until thickened to your liking.

Serve over rice and with some yummy naan.

Phew its been busy

Wow it has been super busy around here lately.

Lets play catch up for a little bit. The kids and I headed into Hiroshima and enjoyed the Children’s Science Museum. This place was awesome and we will be going again. Completely interactive and FREE!!!! The kids all had so much fun climbing and trying out everything. However we had an adventure when it came to parking. I attempted to park in a large parking structure only to get into the line for compact cars, I drive a very large van. Then I gave up on that and decide I would just find a pay parking on the street. Went great found a spot and everyone unloaded and started walking to the museum. We passed the bank of Hiroshima which Z remembered from our visit to the Peace Memorial. We walked past the A bomb site and made it to the museum, spent a few hours in there having a blast and decided it was time to start heading back and get an early dinner. Walked outside to a drizzle and no umbrellas. Meh no big deal its not raining hard so we start walking back. As we were walking it started to come down a little harder so I decided we would jump over a block and walk down the covered streets until we were even with the van and then it would just be 1-2 block in the rain. Everything was going great we were all laughing that mom forgot the umbrella and discussing what we wanted to eat for dinner. M was trying to convince me to just stop and the Indian food where we were. Then came the discovery that the pin I had dropped when we parked had dropped in the wrong location on the map.

Now were are walking up and down the block that the van is supposed to be on and it starts down pouring. I mean there was nothing dry on any of us, the kids were troopers and all I could do was laugh. Here the four of us are running in and out of covers looking for this huge white van and parking lot that is no where to be found. Japanese people are laughing at us and shaking their heads. Finally after about 30 minutes I remember the bank. I decide lets walk to the bank and backtrack from there since I know we parked on the same street and side. Bam found it! The pin was two blocks over from where the van was. I have no idea why it dropped in the wrong spot but oh well we have great memories. We finally loaded up and I had to turn the heat on to try to dry us all out. We ended up going to CoCo ichibanya for dinner (Japanese curry). It was great and warmed us all up. I think that we were all in bed asleep by 8 that night.

I have had a lot of fun getting vegetables from my little container garden in the back yard here. It was really nice the other day I was making a salad and thinking man I wish I had a cucumber and I was able to just walk in the yard and pick one. I am considering this as my learning year with vegetables (lets be honest I will probably always mess something up). I have been able to share different peppers with the neighbors because I just can’t eat them fast enough.

I splurged and bought a watermelon last weekend, this will be our only watermelon of the summer unless mine decide to actually have fruit. Those of you that have never been to Japan or know the prices for fruits and vegetables are probably really confused by me saying I splurged. My medium watermelon cost $9.51. You better believe I used every bit of that thing. The kids and I ate it chopped up, I made watermelon salsa, watermelon ice tea (we didn’t really care for it that much), I used to rind to start my compost bin. Not on bit of that thing went to waste. I am actually really proud of that.

If you stuck with me to the end thank you. I will be better about posting more often. Don’t forget you can follow my instagram and check out the links I share in previous posts.

First Vegetables

A few days ago I was able to pick my first vegetables, YAY! I didn’t get many but I was super excited for what I did get. Here is a picture of my haul, minus one cucumber, I ate that thing before I could get a picture and it was so good.

First vegetables

I gave a couple of the peppers to a neighbor and then M and J snagged two of the bell peppers and went to town on them before I could stop them. How can you stop a kid eating their vegetables though? Plus look how cute and happy he is.

J chowing down

Today I was most excited because I was prepping a meal for a new mom in out command and I got to use some of my vegetables in the recipe. It wasn’t much but it still made me do a little happy dance. I am still trying to figure out how to add recipes to this so bear with me, I will get some up here. I did use my pressure cooker in my prep yesterday and I can’t tell you how many times that thing has saved me. I tossed in a bag of still slightly frozen chicken breasts with some chicken broth and in 20 minutes they were falling apart as I took them out. I love prepping chicken that way and then it is ready to go for the week. This is the affiliate link to Amazon and this is the exact one that I have.

We also started our next year of school already, I decided to go ahead and start because I knew I wanted to leave plenty of time for day trips and just general time off. This will be our first full year of homeschooling so wish us luck, so far we are doing pretty well but who am I kidding we are only 5 days in. Z has asked to study the history of Japan and who am I to say no. What better time than now for us to do this and take those trips to see the places we are studying and then bonus family time. We have made it to the Kinta Bridge twice now but haven’t been able to stay and explore. First time J man ended up accidentally having his poor little foot closed in the sliding door of our van by yours truly, thankfully nothing was broken just some nasty swelling but we had to leave the bridge to come back to base and have an X-ray taken to be sure and the second time right as we arrived it started raining. I am hoping that we get out there this week. Maybe that will be the next blog post. Let me know your favorite places in Japan or where you want to go in Japan. I love reading your comments. Thank you for the support.