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Family Matters: Our Camping Staycation


Our children never ask us what our plans are each spring break. They know that, in our home, spring break means one thing: Time to go camping!

It seems everyone else had the same idea we did because every state park nearby was full before I could make our reservation. I guess lots of folks enjoy camping in the great outdoors!

I did not want our camping tradition to be broken, so I decided we would just have to have a “camping staycation”— camping at home!

We spent Thursday night preparing the menus and grocery shopping for the weekend’s events. Friday night’s menu was grilled steak, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, rolls and our traditional s’mores for dessert. Saturday night was hamburger and hotdog night followed again with the kids’ favorite—s’mores! Sunday was a busy day – the perfect time to make taco soup in our slow cooker.

Each night, we sat outside at our picnic table and pretended we were camping in a state park. We live in the country with lots of critters running around, so it was easy to imagine!

One of our camping traditions is to watch scary movies at our camp site, so each night, I popped popcorn, and my husband set up a TV on the deck to make sure our scary movie nights continued. We turned off all of the outside lights, lit lanterns and built a fire in the outdoor fireplace.

Even though we didn’t actually go anywhere to camp out, our family had a great time during our own backyard “camping staycation!”

Slow Cooker Taco Soup 

Ingredients:
1.5 Lbs ground beef
1 chopped onions
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
2 cans pinto beans
1 can chopped chilies
1 can corn
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 pkg ranch dressing mix

Directions:
Brown ground beef with onions. Drain water from beans and corn. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Add 2-3 cups of water. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.


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