As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Mother-In-Law's 21st Birthday!

Yes, my mother-in-law is celebrating her 21st birthday today...
on Leap Day!

Much of the family gathered over the weekend
to celebrate this once-every-four-years event.

There was a crowd. 

After all, Mom is
the mother of 8,
the grandmother of 18,
and the great-grandmother of 26.

(And she can tell you the birthdate of every single one!)

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Soup On Tuesday: Week 9

Soup on Tuesday is winding down, as winter is winding down. 

After dinner tonight, I put away my snowflake plates and winter mugs and February hearts.  My thoughts are turning toward spring.  And even though we have had quite the mild winter here in the Mid-Atlantic, there is just something about spring breezes and buds and blooming things and green grass and singing birds. 

However, the calendar says it's still winter, and I had a tempting soup recipe that I have been wanting to try.  So this afternoon, the rich aroma of simmering chicken and root vegetables and herbs tantalized.  Then Kati popped some Cheddar Dill Muffins (recipe below) into the oven (more delicious smells), and we were waiting impatiently for the dinner hour to arrive! 

I must tell you that the soup got mixed reviews.  Kati and I thought it was scrumptious!  When asked, Ron confessed that chicken soups are not his favorite.  (I knew that, but thought that he would like the turnip and parsnips, as well as the creamy broth in this recipe.)  And Bekah?  She said that the white things were "weird" and she couldn't find a piece of chicken that suited her and she didn't like the broth.  (I guess she liked the carrots?) 

Everyone raved about the muffins.  Kati strikes again! 

This week's soup...and bread...

Click ~here~ for soup recipe.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Cheddar Dill Muffins*

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons dill weed
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cheddar cheese
1-3/4 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted

  1. In large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.  Combine milk, egg, and butter; stir into dry ingredients just until  moistened.
  2. Fill greased muffin pan almost full.  (Kati sprinkled a bit more dill on top of muffins before baking.) Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until muffins test done.  Cool in pan 19 minutes before removing.  Serve warm. 

* Recipe from Taste of Home Contest Winning Annual Recipes 2009

Looking for a recipe from another week?
Week 1: The first Soup on Tuesday...Sausage Bean Chowder (recipe ~here~scroll to the bottom of post)
Week 3: Pizza Soup

Join me here next Tuesday for one more soup recipe!

Monday, February 27, 2012


To accompany our afternoon read alouds...

...tea and some Valentine Kisses
that we hid from ourselves and found again.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Snapshots: Grand-Dog

Sunday lunch was at Kristin's today
so that we could meet the new puppy!

Top photo by Kati; bottom center by Maddie

puppy wiggles ~ puppy smell 
♥  puppy love  ♥

Read about Baby Number 6 at Kristin's blog, Bits and Pieces From My Life.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I was waiting for Bekah to have her piano lesson, settled in on a cozy sofa in the waiting area, warm and comfy and reading my book.  Then something startled me.

I read this line...
"The back door swung open, and an attractive older woman, in her fifties perhaps, strolled from the house."

Did you see what that said?!  An "older woman" her fifties?

{Wake up call!}

At first, I snickered.  This author must be about 25 years old, I scorned. 

I read the passage aloud to Kati (18) who I supposed would also see the humor in this.  But she was not startled by the words. At all.  "The author is writing from Valerie's perspective," she reasoned. (Valerie, aged 19, is the main character.) Okay.

When I had my first baby, I was just 19 years old.  (I turned 20 a few days later, but I was 19.)  My son was born two years later, when I was 21 (22 within the month).  And during the early years of raising these two children, I was the young mother, usually the youngest in any group of mothers.

I was 33 when my third child was born.  There were plenty of mothers my age.

Then my youngest child was born when I was 40.  I was no longer the young mother.  I am now one of the oldest moms in every activity of my child's age mates.

But still, seeing in print "an older woman, in her fifties perhaps" gave me pause for thought.  

Does it come down to the fact that age is relative? 

We used to be amused at my great aunt who, in her seventies, referred to her bridge partners as "the girls." 

My mom took issue with something I said in a recent blog post.  I had said that one of the reasons that I don't move furniture around like I used to is because I am too old.  "You're just a kid," she opined. 

And of course, we all remember thinking, as a child, that a certain person was "old," only to be startled years later when we learn just how "old" that person was when we thought it. 

So, to some, I am now "older."  (In case you haven't kept up with the math, I am 51.)  

What does that mean?  I mean, besides a few aches and pains and less energy.

It should mean that I am an example to younger women, and a teacher of good things. 

How do I know that?  He tells me so:

The aged women likewise,
that they be in behavior as becometh holiness,
not false accusers, not given to much wine,
teachers of good things;

That they may teach the young women to be sober,
to love their husbands, to love their children,
to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good,
obedient to their own husbands,
that the word of God be not blasphemed.

(Galations 6:8 NKJV)

A heavy responsibity...but mine nonetheless. 

Help me as I ponder this. 
Are you an "older woman"?  How do you fulfill this instruction?
Are you a "younger woman" who looks to an older woman for example and for instruction?  Is it easy to find such women?  How have they helped you?


I am also having this discussion on facebook, and decided to add some of my friend's comments to the comments here. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Soup On Tuesday: Week 8

Actually, soup was served on Monday this week, to make accomodations for our schedule. I tried another brand-new-to-me recipe. If you're looking for something to make in a hurry, this is it. 

This week's soup...

2 cups water
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 bags frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
1 20-oz. package refrigerated tortelli
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. In a large pot, combine water, broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  
  2. Stir in frozen vegetables and tortellini.  Return to boiling; reduce heat and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, or until tortellini noodles are cooked. 
  3. If desired, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Could it be any easier to put a nice hot soup on the table?  Hardly.  And it tasted pretty good too!

*** *** *** *** *** ***

Looking for a recipe from another week?
Week 1: The first Soup on Tuesday...Sausage Bean Chowder (recipe ~here~scroll to the bottom of post)
Week 3: Pizza Soup
Week 7: Baked Potato Soup

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sunday Snapshots: Bird Day

After a week full of....ummmmm...challenges, the weekend was lovely!  (Thank you to all of my sweet friends who offered words of encouragement!) 

This Sunday was deemed Bird Day at our house, as we had decided to once again participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count

Can you believe that the girls even dressed for the occasion?  (I can.)

Our bird-y excitement actually began on our drive home from church. 

We were driving along a rural road when Bekah gasped.  She had seen a hawk perched in a dead branch, in a tree very near the edge of the road!  So we did what any homeschool family would do.  Ron put the car in reverse (after determining that there were no other cars along the road!), and back we went to see the hawk.  We think that it was either a sharp-shinned hawk or a Cooper's hawk.  He looked at us for a few seconds, then decided that we were disturbing his hunt for lunch, and flew away. 

A few miles later, we saw a small flock of wild turkeys in a field. 

Unfortunately, we had neither time to observe for 15 minutes (to be included in the GBBC) nor a camera with which to record our sightings, so home we came.  

Here is the part where I reveal our cookies.  (Snicker.) 

I had shown you an image that I found online of some gorgeous decorated bird cookies, and I asked (publicly) Kati if she thought that we could make some.  I think I set the bar too high, folks!

We decided to make only one type of bird, the eastern bluebird...but as we began to decorate them on Saturday, we began to giggle.  Ours were ~ahem~ not quite like the picture.  In fact, the more we iced, the funnier it became!  When all was said and done, we thought that they were cute, and and that one could tell that they were bluebirds.  I said that our birds were fine; they were just not "works of art" as those in my picture.  Bekah insisted that they were simply Impressionist art. 

After dessert, we counted.  Eight of us were counting, so we had to spread out all over the house.  I got involved in the counting and scribbling down the data called to me...and forgot to take pictures!  This shot of Gavin was a "reenactment."  You can see that I had already put the tea tray and utensil crock back where he had been sitting.  I didn't make the poor boy count for 15 minutes while hanging off the edge of the counter!

One of the highlights of the day (who knew?) was dissecting the owl pellet!  The crowd grew and thinned and grew again, with Gavin and Bekah being the die-hard scientists.  They kept at it for-ev-er, and with great enthusiasm.  They were thrilled with each discovery of a tiny bone.  I so wish that I had had more pellets so that they each could have had one, but this was the last one I had from a purchase that I made years ago.  Perhaps I should order a fresh supply.

One exciting find was this interesting bit that we non-scientists declared a skeleton.  Another (not photographed) was the pair of mandibles each with a row of teeth so tiny, my 51-year-old eyes could only see through a magnifying glass.

When all the bird activity was completed, the children scurried off to prepare for Act IV of the serial play that they've been presenting.  But alas, the versatile actor Benjamin was not in the mood to be Grandmary, so his understudy was called in... 

...his mama!

Kristin is a good sport!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Week that Was

It was a week of hearts and hugs and red roses. 


It was a week of hormones and headaches and hurt feelings.
It was a week of plumbing issues and no obvious solutions. 
It was a week of fumbling and frustrations and falling short.

Oh how good it is to know that His mercies are new every morning!

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~  * ~

 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed,  
                         because  his compassions  fail not.                                        
                                         They are new every morning:                  
                great is thy faithfulness.                
Lamentations 3:22, 23 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Great Backyard Bird Count

Fellow homeschoolers, fellow admirers of birds...

this post is for you! 

On Sunday, our little group will once again press our noses and/or binoculars to the window panes in search of our feathered friends.  For a mere 15 minutes, we will watch and count and record all of the birds that we can see in our backyard.  We will have some field guides (and Kati) handy, to assist us in identifying the species.  Then we'll enter our data on the GBBC web site, and we will have had a quick and easy science lesson, and we will have aided the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society, and Bird Studies Canada in the gathering of important information.  

As part of our bird theme for the day, we will also guide the children in dissecting an owl pellet.  (Some are more excited than others.)  We will label our disposable cups with different bird names.  We will listen to some bird calls on CD.  We may even eat some bird-shaped cookies. 

(Think we can do this, Kati?!)

On Monday, I will have Bekah return to the web site to peruse some of the data, look at some maps, see how many birders have reported from our area, perhaps play some games or solve some puzzles.  We may even observe for another 15-minute session. 

Of course, all you really need to do is count birds for 15 minutes, and log your data.  If you'd like to join the thousands in North America who are participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, then just fly on over to ~this link~ and find out how!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Soup On Tuesday: Week 7

Since we were hosting our homeschool co-op today, I decided to rely on a tried-and-true recipe for tonight's repast.  My mom shared this one with me a few years ago, and it has all but replaced my old potato soup recipe.  Just imagine a loaded baked potato in creamy soup form.  Oh yes.  And then imagine a green salad, and a slice of home-baked Sally Lunn bread served alongside.  Mmmmm.

Tonight's soup...

4 large baked potatoes, mashed  (I like to leave some lumps.)
2/3 cup flour
6 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped green onion
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled

  1. Bake potatoes.  When cool enough to handle, remove skins and mash. 
  2. Place flour in a large pot.  Slowly add milk, stirring well until well blended.  Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (approximately 8 minutes).    
  3. Add mashed potatoes, cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until cheese melts. 
  4. Remove from heat.  Stir in sour cream and green onion.  Cook over low heat 10 minutes.   
  5. Garnish with crumbled bacon, and additional chopped green onion. 

*** Sally Lunn bread recipe ~here~.

Looking for a recipe from another week?
Week 1:  The first Soup on Tuesday...Sausage Bean Chowder (recipe ~here~scroll to the bottom of post)
Week 2:  Seafood Chowder
Week 3:  Pizza Soup

Note:  The recipe for Pizza Soup had an error.  The recipe should have read a 7-ounce package of pepperoni, not a 1-ounce package.  That's not enough pepperoni!   (It has been corrected!  ~smile~) 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sunday Snapshots: LUV

Sunday afternoon began with bunches of Valentines...some homemade, some not, but all full of smiles and sweetness!  There were Valentines for Papa and Gran, for Aunt Kati, for Aunt Bekah, and even for Pinky and Puss. 

After dinner, we indulged in Valentine dessert, a double chocolate bundt cake baked in a heart-shaped pan. 

Tiny bookworm shared a book (or two...or three) with Papa.

Gavin, a reluctant photography subject, told Aunt Kati that she could take his picture if she made him a Roman helmet.  "I don't think I can do that," she said.  He asked again.  He asked her a few more times.  "Can you just get me the materials?," he asked. 

Guess who made Gavin a Roman helmet?

Act Three of "Actions Speak Louder Than Words" was performed.  You may recognize the versatile actor, Benjamin, who played the role of Grandmary in last week's act.  This week, he was recruited to play Mrs. Ryland, so the costume designers gave him brown hair with a bun, instead of white.  Below, the girls react to Eddie Ryland (Owen).   

After the theatre, we played Apples to Apples.  Pinky was temporarily on Kati's team. 

I get the prize for the most versatile game player.  I dressed both of the little ones in their jammies, and squeezed in some reading time with the two pajama-clad sweethearts, without missing any turns!  (Maybe that was the prize.  I think so.)   

Valentine cards and treats "to go," hugs and kisses, and piggy back rides to the van...and the end of another delightful Sunday.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hearts All Around {A Linky Party}

Today I'm linking up with my daughter Kati's Photo Friday,
in which she is featuring all things ♥ heart ♥ ! 

And speaking of sweet hearts...
while you're at Kati's Little Corner, take a peek at this post.
(It warms my heart!)

♪ ♫ Sisters, sisters...  ♫ ♪

Thursday, February 9, 2012


It was late morning and I wanted to know of Bekah's progress through her independent work so that I could plan our next steps. 

"Bekah, are you still working on your math?," I queried.

"Shh!," was her sharp response.

The tone seemed disrespectful.  But I silently began to reason.  She was working hard on a math problem.  It was frustrating to be interrupted.  I can appreciate the frustration of interrupted thought.  It was just her first response.  Surely she didn't mean to be disrespectful.  It is such a small thing.

Then I felt the Lord's nudging, that this attitude needed to be corrected. 

My thoughts turned.  I want her to do what is right.  It is "right" to honor parents.  I don't want to turn my head and look away.  It is better to correct an attitude before it has a chance to become a  habit.  It is my responsibility as a parent to train in righteousness, to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."  Do I want my Heavenly Father to correct me when I am wrong, for the good of my eternal soul?  Do I want the same for Bekah? 

I let Bekah finish her math lesson.  Then I asked for her attention, and had her look me in the eyes.  And I (gently, I hope) explained the idea of honor, that parents are not just "friends" and that I expect a respectful tone whenever she speaks to me or to her father.  The whole exchange took less than a minute.  No punishment was meted out, but there were tears in her eyes as she listened.  I think that she understood, and I believe that she will think before she reacts in a dishonoring way in the future. 

Why do I tell you all this?  This story of a seemingly small offense, and the seemingly small addressing of that offense? 

Because I believe that parenting is made of these seemingly small moments.  The moments when we choose to either turn away, or face the issue.  The moments when we decide what is important to teach.  The moments when we look at the big picture, and know that a small thing affects that picture.  The moments when we see our choices in light of eternity.  The moments when we feel the nudgings from the Lord. 

That is why I reposted To Young Moms earlier this week.  That is why I share this story.  Because this not-so-young-anymore mom is still learning, and still needs to heed His nudgings.  There is still important work to do.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Soup On Tuesday: Week 6

On this winter Tuesday, I served up some soup with a bit of an Asian flair.  Since we also had Chinese food on Sunday at our {non}Super Bowl party, you might assume that our geography studies had us traveling through Asia.  Not so, as this week we are strolling through jolly old England and the Asian food theme just kind of happened.  I suppose we'll have to make some scones or kidney pie before the week is over. 

Our collective opinion on the Sizzling Rice Soup was that it needed a bit more flavor.  Everyone liked it (although some picked out their water chestnuts and bamboo shoots), but it just didn't have the intensity that we associate with Asian food.  (Maybe we're too accustomed to Chinese take-out with its MSG!)  If I made it again, I'd experiment with some ways to boost the flavor. 

It's a good thing I stopped by Sam's Club on our way home from knitting class and picked up their Chopped Asian Salad Mix.  Now that had flavor!

Tonight's soup...

1 cup uncooked long grain rice
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained
1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1/4 cup cooking oil

  1. Cook rice according to package directions.  Spread on a greased baking pan, and bake at 300° for 1 hour or until dried and browned, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, combine the broth, chicken, onions, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and garlic powder.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.    
  3. Add peas and cook 15 minutes. 
  4. Just before serving, heat oil in a skillet.  Fry rice in hot oil.   
  5. Ladle soup into serving bowls.  Immediately spoon some hot rice into each bowl and it will sizzle. 

Looking for a recipe from another week?
Week 1:  The first Soup on Tuesday...Sausage Bean Chowder (recipe ~here~scroll to the bottom of post)
Week 2:  Seafood Chowder
Week 3:  Pizza Soup
Note:  The recipe for Pizza Soup had an error.  The recipe should have read a 7-ounce package of pepperoni, not a 1-ounce package.  That's not enough pepperoni!   (It has been corrected!  ~smile~) 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

To Young Moms

{From the archives...a repost from March 2010}

I am going to tell you something that I would have liked for someone to tell me when I was a young mother with very small children.

It is hard.

Oh, I love babies and would have welcomed more of them. Snuggling with a newborn, rocking my babies to sleep in a darkened room, smelling their sweet baby smell and seeing their adoring smiles...all are precious memories.

The toddler years are full of joys too. Chubby cheeks and hands, wobbly toddler walk, expanding vocabulary rendered in toddler talk, belly laughs, sharing book after book after book (or sometimes the same one time after time after time).

But all of the joys do not take away the fact that it is hard.

Is it worth it? Yes, a thousand times yes.

But is it easy? No.

I so clearly remember an interchange I had with a slightly older mother at a time when I had two small children (at the time, around ages 1 and 3). This mom was a member of my church, and I was shopping in the Christian bookstore where she worked. I don’t remember what began the conversation, but I recall that I said that being a mother was hard. I am not sure what I expected—maybe some helpful hints, maybe some Godly advice, maybe the assurance that the training would pay off in the long run. But I got none of that. Instead she raised her eyebrows and said, “Oh my. Well if you think it’s hard now, just wait until they get to be teenagers.” At first, I felt ashamed that I had thought life with my sweet babies was hard. But almost immediately, something in my heart said that she was wrong. That right here—these days of initial training and winning their hearts—was where the battle would be won or lost.

So, yes, I believe that life with little ones is hard—full of joy and delight, but hard nonetheless. These are the days when you are establishing authority. These are the days when you are laying down the rails of habit. These are the days when you are laying the foundation of spiritual awareness, and manners, and denying self. These are the days when you are testing some of these same ideas in yourself, for it is indeed an unselfish thing to train a child. It is much easier (at the moment) to give in to them, to make the demands easier, to turn your head at disobedience or a bad attitude. But the unselfish parent will deny her own flesh and lovingly demand what is right.

Those who know my daughter Kristin now may find this hard to believe, but she was such a little chatterbox. She had so very much to say. One evening, as our family walked through the local mall, Ron and I were trying to have a conversation. But we could hardly string together a sentence before Kristin had something (or somethings) that “needed” to be said. Finally, after many attempts at continuing his discussion with me, Ron stopped Kristin and pointed to the Sears anchor store at the end of the corridor. “Kristin, “ he said, “if you will not say a word until we get down to Sears, I’ll give you a quarter.” Little Kristin walked in silence for about four steps...then came to a screeching halt and moaned, “Oh Dad, it’s too hard!”

We have laughed at that many times over the years...but sometimes I have found myself saying to my Heavenly Father about some thing or another that He is requiring of me, “Oh, it’s too hard.” And yet His words to me are, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. (II Corinthians 12:9)

So to young moms, I would say...yes, indeed, it is hard to train little ones. It requires love, selflessness, wisdom, patience, diligence, and tenacity...sometimes long days and longer nights...often going against others’ advice and against worldly wisdom...always prayer and seeking His wisdom. But it is a job for which He gives His grace...and it is a job that is full of reward.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
(Galations 6:8 NKJV)


My duty is never measured by what I feel is within my power to do,
but by what God's grace enables me to do.
~ Andrew Murray

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Snapshots: {Non} Super Bowl Party

Would it surprise anyone to know that we don't watch football at our house?  Or that we don't have cable television, so even if we wanted to watch the Super Bowl, it wasn't televised on any of the channels that we have?  (My son-in-law, Brian, does enjoy football, but since they don't have cable television either, viewing wasn't an option.)

Did that stop us from having a party?  Nope. 

We played some games. 

We ordered Chinese take-out, including fried dumplings and Chinese donuts.  Yes, we did.  (I'd have been better off not knowing that such things existed, as before this evening.)   

And we had the second act of the serial drama performed by the children. 

The play almost didn't continue past the first act which was performed several weeks ago.  There had been a quandary over who would be "Grandmary," the grandmother to Samantha, an American Girl historical character.  Bekah (10) and Maddie (7) had claimed the two young girl roles.  Owen (5) wanted to act, but certainly didn't want to be Grandmary!  Gavin didn't want to act at all.  The drama troupe tried to enlist Aunt Kati, but she declined. 

Today, however, a solution was found! 

We almost doubled over with laughter when "Grandmary" was introduced...for she was three-year-old  BENJAMIN!!  What a HOOT!  There he was with his "white hair" styled into a "bun" and dressed in a grandmotherly costume.  (Don't they give out Oscars for costume design?)   

To top it all off (and to take the audience over the edge), Ben, of course, didn't know his lines...and so the director had instructed him to just move his mouth while she read the words in her Grandmary voice!  Oh, how I wish you could have been here!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Hearts At Home

Just a touch of  ♥ LOVE ♥  on this shelf in the kitchen...
some gummy cinnamon hearts,
a sweet fabric heart from a loved friend,
a cluster of heart-shaped cookie cutters.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Soup On Tuesday: Week 5

Another winter Tuesday has come and gone...and although it was the night to make soup, it was not the night to blog.

I took Bekah to her knitting class yesterday, all the while sniffling and sneezing.  After class, although I felt like returning home, we headed to Goodwill, the fabric shop, the library, the gas station, and Panera (to pick up a loaf of bread, because the baker was sniffling too)...and I was waning. 

Arriving at home, I began to make the soup that I had planned, relieved that it was relatively easy and would come together quickly, because I was also planning to crash immediately after dinner.  We all loved this recipe; in fact, it was one of our favorite new soups! 

And then crash I did...on the sofa with the television and the lap top and a cup of coffee and a box of tissues and a blanket. 

Today, I am moving slowly, but feeling much better.  And I thoroughly enjoyed a bowl of leftover soup for lunch.

Tonight's Last night's soup...

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 large onion, sliced vertically into crescents
6 cups beef broth
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 small zucchini, cubed
2 ounces vermicilli, broken into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cook Italian sausage and onion until sausage is no longer pink and onion is tender.
  2. Add beef broth, tomatoes,oregano, basil, pepper; bring to a full boil.  
  3. Add zucchini and vermicilli.  Cover and continue to cook until soup is simmering, stirring occasionally to prevent pasta from sticking. 
  4. Before serving, stir in Parmesan.   

Note:  In my own bowl, I added a sprinkling of crushed red pepper and a little shaved Parmesan.

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