You already know I love this holiday week.  I wish all of life was like a holiday.  No school.  No pressure to rise early.  No pressure to get to bed early.  No pressure.  That’s what I like.  The unrealistic dream world of no pressure for anything.  

Ah.  But we are grown ups here and we know that the in between weeks are not the main weeks and that holiday is not the standard fare.

But – while it lasts, I sure do enjoy it.




Riley and Aaron bought the boys a miniature foosball table for Christmas this year.  It’s been a big hit.  Also, Puck likes to play it with the kids.  That’s also been a big hit.  The shared laughter over that little game between siblings has made my ears quite happy.  And it’s genuinely hilarious to watch the cat play along.

Also funny at our house over the past week or two has been our current obsession with any video produced by Studio C.

The videos range from a light laugh or two to snort laughing.  And – they’re clean.





Have you ever seen the very fun items that Out of Print Clothing carries?

Cool bags and clothes and accessories that have to do with various works of literature.

For her birthday, Mosely (who is notoriously difficult to buy clothing for) received this sweatshirt that was an immediate hit with her.





For those of you who just received your Instant Pot for Christmas — congratulations.

Give yourself a little space for a learning curve and remember that those numbers of speed cooking are deceiving.  When it says two minutes for hard boiled eggs, it means two minutes once your pot has reached the pressure point.  And then there’s the time it takes for the pressure to be released.  But remember, the beauty of your Instant Pot lies more in the hands off nature of the cooking than in the actual speed.  Although, the speed is a benefit and a help in many areas at many times for many recipes.

I still have my handy little list here of some items that I routinely cook in the Instant Pot.

But I also have this recipe for soup that we make weekly.  Our grocery list always includes a head of broccoli and a head of cauliflower and there’s this ridiculously easy recipe I use and we have this so often for lunch that all we call it now is Lunch Soup.  (We’re creative like that.)

You can be completely flexible with the ingredients according to what you have on hand and you really can’t mess this up, but the basic formula is this:

Lunch Soup

4 cups of vegetable broth  (or chicken or even water if that’s what you’ve got)
Head of broccoli
Head of cauliflower
Carrots or potatoes or onions or garlic or any combination you have and like
Salt or pepper or any other spices you enjoy

Toss it all in the Instant Pot.
Some days I toss everything (minus the broth) in the Ninja first for a couple quick turns to chop it a bit.  Sometimes I don’t.

Set your IP to manual and 4 minutes.
Release the pressure after 5 minutes (or when you remember)

Add in
2 cups of shredded cheese
I cup of milk (or half and half or not at all)

If I already chopped up the veggies then this is good to go.  If I didn’t chop up the veggies sometimes here I use my immersion blender and puree the whole lot and this becomes more like creamy soup.  You can do whichever texture you prefer.  We vary it since we have it so often.  That’s a whole lotta veggies in there and my kids (for real) cheer when they ask what’s for lunch and I say Lunch Soup.   (I’ll try to take a photo of this one soon and add it in.)




Years ago (and I’m sure I’ve mentioned this) our family’s friend Hannah gave us a journal specifically to encourage us to write down the ways in which God has provided for our family.

We now write in it routinely and you can see a collection of years worth of provisions in that little turquoise journal.  Reminders over and over of how God has used people to make our lives better and richer and fuller and more vibrant.  How He has directly and indirectly answered our prayers and taken care of us.

I love reading it and being reminded.  We are not alone.  We have never been alone.  God is always providing.





Otto is a bonafide Cuddler.  He loves hugs and requests them.  He’s the most affectionate kid in our house I think.  He often complains that the only reason he doesn’t like sleeping alone is because there is no one to cuddle.  One day I asked Otto what a cuddle was to him.

He said, “Mom, a cuddle is just like a hug, only longer.”

I’m first in line for that kid’s cuddles any day.