Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Weekend and Birthday Recap

Since it was our Fall Break, Mr. P took Friday off and we headed to Bowling Green for a family day out. We started out by just sleeping in and having a leisurely morning. That was heavenly because we don’t do that very often. After finally getting up and about, we hit the road and began our day by having lunch at the newly-opened Chuy’s in Bowling Green, followed by taking the girls bowling. Then Mr. P unexpectedly said that he was taking the girls to Chuck E. Cheese to play games, and he ordered me to go shop by myself for a little while. I was also not allowed to buy anything for the girls, only for myself. (This came from several shopping trips over the summer where I said I needed to purchase some things for myself only to come home with only things for the girls. I can’t help it-I have too much fun buying for them!) Believe me, it was very hard to say no to all of the cute little girl things, but I obeyed and only bought for myself. I actually didn’t have much luck until right at the end but I did find some trouser jeans that are dressy enough to wear to school on Fridays (yeah!), and I stocked up on some basic long sleeve t-shirts in black, gray, and white.

I also fell in love with this cozy shirt-can’t wait to wear this with leggings and boots.

It actually hangs longer on my because I'm so short, so it is the perfect length to wear with leggings. 

After meeting back up with Mr. P and the girls, we decided to take them to see Hotel Transylvania. Very cute movie and a very fun experience because the girls had never been to the movies before. Since it was the first time for them, we went to the 3-D version of the movie. They loved it!

Saturday was my birthday and it was a perfect, low-key day for me. We spent the morning at home, just hanging out and then Mr. P took the girls out shopping for me for a little while. I stayed home with orders from Mr. P to relax, but I actually ended up doing some laundry, finally putting up some fall decorations, and catching up on my Real Housewives of NJ. After Mr. P and the girls came home, we walked over to his parents’ house for a little while to visit with some relatives who were in town. Then we came home for dinner. Mr. P had planned dinner full of my favorites: grilled steak with veggies, roasted squash, and baked potatoes. We finished off dinner with birthday cake and presents which included new clothes and a new purse.  The highlights of my birthday were definitely being serenaded with “Happy Birthday” by the girls at breakfast and the sweet, sweet cards that they gave me.

Sunday, we ventured to Bowling Green again to meet my parents for lunch and more birthday celebrating. We very much enjoyed the lunch with my parents, and Mama brought me the cake that she always bakes for my birthday-a homemade strawberry cake, with strawberry icing. Yummy!

It’s been back to the real world this week with school and work starting back-boo! 

Hope that everyone is having a great week!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Falling Into Fall

 (Image Courtesy of Pinterest)

Geez, another long blog break from me…I just can’t seem to get into routine blogging even though I miss it terribly. Life in general, new mommyhood, and some unreliable internet service (no thanks to Windstream) are the causes of my most recent break. I’m just going to dive right in with our current state of the household…

School is off to a great start, and we are on Fall Break this week. Renovations are 99.9999% complete-praise God! It’s been a dusty, inconvenienced way to start a school year but we have rolled with it the best we could. The end result, a beautiful school, is well worth it.

The girls are doing wonderfully, both at school and at home. Little A knows all of her upper and lower case letters and sounds. She’s working on blends, knows many sight words, and is reading little books. So proud of my little kindergartener! Big A is averaging 100s on spelling, performing proficient on her flashbacks each week (small assessments to gauge how they are doing on state standards), and reading like a fiend. Both girls met their AR goals for the quarter, have been Student of the Week, and are running cross country. So proud of them!

We just returned from another camping trip this weekend. We live close to a Jellystone Park, which the girls love. We’ve camped there several times this summer, and there is always a weekend theme with lots of activities for kids. This weekend was the Fall Festival, with hayrides to the pumpkin patch, painting pumpkins, a costume contest, and trick or treating. Our group won the costume contest-the kids dressed up in 50’s costumes and they were so cute. Poodle skirts, ponytails, bobby socks-I wish that I could post a picture of them because they were stinkin’ adorable!

Mr. P is off today so we are going to have a family day. Not sure what we are doing but the weather is supposed to be beautiful, at least until late afternoon when a cold front is due to come through bringing rain and much cooler weather. Lots of people are bemoaning the weather but I’m kind of excited about it. I’m ready for cooler weather and I love cool weather on my birthday which is tomorrow. Might even have to break out some boots!

Home Stuff
Bringing the girls home has of course brought some changes to our house. I’ve had to rearrange and reorganize many things, and it is still a work in progress. We originally had the girls in one room, but then decided to give them each their own room. They love it and are so proud of their rooms. Of course, I’ve had a ball with decorating their rooms. I'm currently working on shelves for their rooms and some other organizing stuff, so hopefully I can post some pics soon.
Since this is a long, long post anyway, I’ll go ahead and throw in a recipe too. Like I said earlier, I have the fall/cold weather bug which makes me want to cook soup. We’ve already made chili and minestrone in the last few weeks, so on Wednesday I decided that potato soup sounded good. I use Christy Jordan’s My Favorite Potato Soup recipe from Southern Plate. She gives you several options, so here is my version of it, using her suggestions.


  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 4-5 Russet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cubed (I totally cheated on this (which Christy completely urges you to do) and bought frozen diced potatoes. I bought these, Ore-Ida Steam n' Mash. I didn't steam them or anything, just opened up the bags and dumped them in, using about 1 1/2 bags. I liked them because they were bigger chunks of potatoes than canned or other frozen ones.)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup instant potato flakes (original recipe calls for 1 cup, but it made it too thick last time)
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 onion, diced (not sure if it was a whole cup, it was what was left of my frozen bag of chopped onions)
  • 1 cup smoked chopped ham
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I also threw some garlic powder in there, next time I’m going to throw a bit of diced garlic in)


  • Pour broth in dutch oven or soup pot and put over medium heat.
  • Peel and chop onion and potatoes (or open up bags and dump!).
  • Add to broth along with ham. Season to taste (about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper).
  • Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for ten to fifteen minutes or until potato is tender.
  • Remove lid and stir in potato flakes.
  • Add in cheese and evaporated milk and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until just heated through.
  • Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired. I added garlic at this point too.
Serve immediately and top with your favorite toppings. We had chopped green onions, bacon, and shredded cheese. Makes 4 generous servings.

Seriously, this was such an easy recipe. Since I bought everything pre-chopped, you just dumped everything in according to the recipe. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I love to spend a lot of time chopping and cooking but this recipe is great for a quick weeknight supper. 

Hope that everyone is having a wonderful Fall!