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!


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