Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Summoning the Storm

It's March. We're over winter.

The problem is, winter was pretty much a rip-off. We've been sorely lacking in inclement weather. No blowing and drifting. No trees cloaked in ice. Nothing but bitter cold interspersed with general wimpery.

I sort of felt like today might be our last chance. The weather people were saying things like, "We could get truck loads of snow or maybe a teaspoon or two. This storm is unpredictable!"

So I decided to take matters into my own hands.

First Stop > Public library.
We bundled Charles into some warm jammies and off we went.
We grabbed 4 movies (kids), 2 mags (me), 4 books (moi) and dashed out the door to pick up the bigs. 

There were so many other things I wanted to look for. I knew the Bigs would be bummed that I didn't get them any books. I'd just rather they not read, that's all. I'm not a big proponent of kids reading.

Either that, or I was running wayyyy late.
Do you know me at all? Then you know to err on the side of lateness. Always.

Here's the irony.

No really, the train. It's my 10,000th spoon.

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on me, alright. We moved to the wrong side of the tracks and I now contend with this darn thing many, many times a day. I almost think of it as a neighbor and that's no laughing matter. It has a personality. Multiple personalities. Today's? Lethargic. Long-winded. Mopey, even.

Crazy train.

Sometimes I love it.

But not when I'm already running late for the Bigs.
Back me up, people. It was all in the name of The Storm!

When I picked them up Calvin said, "Mommy! We almost had to go sit in the office!"
Homeboy's got a lot to learn about the irrelevance of  "almost".

Now that we live a stone's throw from all kinds of fast food, we almost never go.
But today we're looking for a blizzard, so eating one was the only logical conclusion.

The kids screamed when I told them. Then Ruby had a change of heart and almost cried when I didn't let her get a cheeseburger. Mean.

 (Be honest, would you mess with this kid and his pink-pajama-clad Charles? Me, either.)

I straight-up love my people.
Storm or no storm, it felt good to shake up the routine.
It felt good to wedge into the circle booth and be interested about the large and prolific Oreos in their blizzards. It was fun hearing about their days in a different venue while the falling snow outside made us jittery .

But storm, dangit. STORM!

We did homework and I started dinner - any guesses? Soup. Duh, right?
True story, it won't blizzard unless you have soup bubbling in a pot. (Or as Calvin would say with his index finger pointed up, "Point of fact...")

Are you wondering about the furniture situation?

We inherited my in-laws loveseat and it lives in the toy room now as "The Reading Couch." We hauled it out Friday for our company then never found the initiative to scoot it back in.

The kids seemed to enjoy sitting inches from the TV with their necks cocked at inconvenient angles.

And it clearly brings my fussy boys together. Calvin offered to let Silas pick which DVD they watched first. Of course Silas chose Caillou to all of our collective disdain and here's what I have to say about that: OMW, shut your trap, Caillou!

Fingernails on a chalk-board. It never used to bother me.

(Am I aging? Aged?)

The soup was wonderful paired with a nice Pig-In-A-Blanket.
After dinner the kids played in the snow while I folded laundry. (Go, Daddy!)

It seems the so-called "storm" is already fizzling, but it sure was fun while it lasted.

Cheesy Vegetable Soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded carrot
2 stalks celery, finely chopped 
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped cauliflower
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 cloves minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
3 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped
1.5 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk

Melt butter and cook onion, carrot, celery until soft on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low boil and cook until potatoes are softened.

Mix flour with water and add to soup. Allow to thicken for a few minutes. Add broccoli and cauliflower, milk, 2-3 dashes bottled hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium or medium low until veggies are soft. Add shredded cheese and stir until melted.


  1. You know I loathe the snow. I can't even imagine why one would hope for it.

    That soup, though? I might walk across a whole yard of snow for a bowl of that.


  2. Can you hear the train when you're in your house? Man, I love to sleep to a train.

    1. Can we hear the train? Can we hear the train?!? Hahahaha!


      The first night here I thought I'd never sleep again.

      And now I love it. :)

  3. That soup may be the trick I need to get a certain preschooler to eat his veggies.
    Also, Charles looks so well-loved it makes my heart melt.

  4. See? You really are the awesome sauce!

    I have fond memories of driving around my hometown and being on the wrong side if the crazy train. And blizzards for a blizzard? Love. It. Even though I am so done with winter.

  5. I like your soup. I love your train : )
    Your kids? Stop the truck-or should I say train- SO FREAKING ADORABLE.
    Today would be a great day for a blizzard. I should totally wake Gary up to go and get me one : )

  6. I need a milk-less soup. Ideas?

    Also. Caillou. SHOOT ME NOW. I used to change the channel really fast so Sam wouldn't ever get the idea he wanted to watch that one.

    Though...Dora isn't much better. When she comes on, Sam cries. "But I HATE Dora!"

    That'a boy. :)

    1. I really think this could be milk-less. Truly. There's not much to begin with compared to other soups... but wait? The cheese. The cheese is a must. Must your soup be no-cheese???

  7. That soup looks divine, in a food sort of way. I must try me some. I sometimes feel as though plucking my eyeballs out of my head would be better than having to watch another episode of Caillou.

  8. Ugh. Same here in Illinois, Shannan. I mean, I really don't really even like the snow or winter or any of it.... but come on, now! This mess is ridiculous. I mean, could we get one school Snow Day this year, people? love your day and I, too, always erron the side of lateness. And hot mess-ness.

  9. That soup looks perfect for a snowy evening! We got a boat load of snow up here! Pretty much every time I road in the car with my grandfather he would say "I wonder if we are going to run into a blizzard today?". Since we were in Minnesota, he could have actually meant a blizzard some days, but he always really meant a DQ Blizzard. And more often than not, all of us grandkids who were lucky enough to ride with grandpa would get to have ice cream before dinner ;)

  10. Your people are adorable.

  11. Your people are adorable.

  12. yeah, girl. this is how to do it. cutie kiddos.

  13. Sorry no Storm! The Soup looks and sounds delicious and your lil peeps are simply scrumptiously adorable :) At least you were semi prepared right! ~Kim

  14. I hate that ding-dang train, especially at night. TOO MANY WHISTLES (maybe that's just over on my end where it blows across every.stinkin.intersection.

    We did crockpot soup and a snow walk to help the storm come in. And last night I stayed up to take a late-night snow tramp with a friend. Perfect.

  15. Oh my. That sounds like a seriously good day. It makes want to curl up in your wonky love seat surrounded by little with a bowl in my hands. It sounds like you all made the most of it. Emma had her very first white birthday. It was perfect.

  16. This post was exactly what I needed. I started to doubt your new look - your old look sucked me in like a warm blanket. But this post was redemption. Your family tales are perfect, as always. Pictures make you guys like us guys. Now if I could just get my kids to like soup. I will try this one with fingers crossed.

    1. Girl, it's still the same ol' me. I'm just wearing a new shirt. ;)

  17. I'm dying to know if you got a snow storm.
    always enjoy reading these kind of posts from you...written in real time. :)

  18. I'm with ya on the snow thing....we've gotten absolutely nothing worth speaking of all "winter"!!! I'm not even sure I can call it winter :/ I now just laugh in the face of the meteorologists when they use the word snow and storm and I roll when they put the two together!! WhatEVER major losers!!!!

    We just get rain.....phooey!!!! I'm loving your people too - their faces speak so much of their personalities and I can't imagine how wonderful it is to hang with those little peeps every day!! A blessing for sure!!!

    I looked at the couch picture and said "what the heck???" and then read below....I laughed out loud, it's like you read our minds!!! I always knew you had superpowers : )

    That soup looks delish btw!!!

  19. Okay, if you want to help a storm along this is the tip that my girls principal gave them. First you grab teaspoons for everyone in the house and put them under the bed pillows facing north and when the pj's go on turn them inside out and just before turning in put icecubes in the toilet. This has "worked" the 2 times we did it but even if it didn't it's fun :).

  20. Charles is adorable. Love the toes!
    Train - yep, we have the neighbor our back.
    (2 am - screeeeech!)

    Blizzard, how perfect.
    ALmost had to sit in the P office.

    Sounds like a great day.
    ~ Dana

  21. Glad to hear about your train. We also live on the wrong side of the tracks. Trains go by 15-20 times a day. We can tell how fast and how loaded they are by how hard our house shakes! Not sure that I love my train yet. I am still learning to sleep at night.

  22. 1. I live by a train yard!! I, too, love the sound - finally.
    2. Why is everybody always dissin' Caillou? He's my 3 yo's favorite. My older children almost cry if he gets to pick.
    3. I am going to make that soup tonight. You're saving us from spaghetti. Again.
    4. We went to the library yesterday, too. I had to pay a terrible fine, and there is a library cd stuck in my car. WAAAHH!
    5. That is all.

  23. Took me until i saw the pic to try to figure out how i missed the fact that you have a little one named Charles!!! Ha! I'm making up for lost time, so give me a break! SO with you on Caillou...CAN...NOT...STAND! The whiny voice needs to be put in time out! BTW...have ya started A Million Miles!??!?! Love ya!

  24. I want to drop kick Caillou. Don't tell anyone I said that. But really. And what the h kinda name is Caillou??

    On a better note: You are fun. And funny. And it's "storming" here too. Its just really windy but everyone freaks when there's even a 1% chance of snow in NC. This South Dakota girl sorta laughs at them... :)

  25. Well, Shannan...maybe you needed to come to South Bend yesterday. It took a while for the snow to get here, but once it did, we certainly got enough. There were several inches in my driveway this morning. Sorry you were disappointed. :-)

  26. I love all the "day in the life" photos & stories. Love! What a great day. Your 10,000th spoon...how are you so clever? I love that song. Multiple personality train (going off the rails)? Again, you're just the cleverest. I, however, am the latest. As we were scurrying to meet our friends for a playdate the other day, my Benny whined, "I'm so tired of being known as the late ones!!!" I felt bad for like a second, but I mean, at least we were going. So then I'm just like, shutty, Caillou...

    ps, I kind of like this tiny font. It makes me look less wordy. haha!

  27. Your people are simply adorable. Thanks for sharing their little lives with us. And I totally understand your aversion to "Caillou"... I often had to ban my son from that show when he was little because he'd pick up the whiny, sassy voice and it made me crazy. Great idea to get DQ Blizzards when a blizzard is coming... so cute and fun! It's certainly a blizzard here in Northern Virginia... five inches on the ground and more coming down! It's the perfect snuggle-up-and-get-cozy day...

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  29. As a fellow Indiana girl, I'm seriously thinking about heading to your place for some warm soup. Love the whole thing!

  30. I am waiting for a few more storms this year. Usually I am ready for for spring but this year I feel like we need a bit more "bringing it in" time that winter allows for.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, too!

  31. I was like, "Darn it WHO IS CHARLES?!" and then I felt better realizing he's a bear and not a new member of your family. Truly.

    Caillou is not allowed in this house. BOO! BOOOOOO!

    And? It's been in the 70's (oh, did I mention that already) but it looks like rain today. I'm not making soup though. I have my own problems with a missing magnifying glass and kindergarten registration and lots of dishes and everyone with a cold. I'm making pasta. MMmm.

  32. Shannan, you seriously cracked me up with the kids not reading thing.

    I love your sense of humour.

  33. We have about four feet of snow now. You can have it!

    We hardly had any snow the past few years.. So decided not to fix the snowblower or get a new one.

    Big. Mistake.

    My arms, back and SOUL hurt from shoveling. There is nowhere to move the snow to... So we have five feet on each side of the driveway.

    The dogs are cute in it, but it's begun to feel like an aerobic/snowshoeing errand that I no longer wish to take part in.

    Oh, and today Curtis pooped ON his leash while in a drift of snow.

    Good times. Yes.

    I read your soup as "classy" rather than cheesy. Lol.

    Lotsa Love!!

  34. "I'd just rather they not read, that's all. I'm not a big proponent of kids reading."
    That's the most awesome thing I've read all day. There's a REASON I break my no-screen lent to come here day after day. A DARN GOOD REASON. lol.

  35. Oh, a great post AND a recipe! Don't go spoiling us now!

  36. I love children, but Caillou is another matter altogether. Can't...stand...the...kid!

  37. Ugh Caillou. I can't stand that cartoon.

    Side of Pig-In-A-Blanket. Awesome.

  38. Fun! I love a good snow day! And the couch? Genious. Anything new and different seems to win around here.

  39. Fun! I love a good snow day! And the couch? Genious. Anything new and different seems to win around here.

  40. I see crosses next to the tracks. Do you know about that? I said a little prayer, regardless. You write from your day ... and the heart of you in your day. Yours is my have to read. Peace and flurries - of any kind!

  41. My four and I are eating your soup in Atlanta tonight! Just copy-catted the whole meal. Thank you so much! I love reading your blog and will read your book when you publish one!

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  43. Made the soup tonight and served it with pumpkin muffins. 7 out of 7 liked it-thank you!

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  46. Pinning I mean winning! Thanks for the recipe. I needed some new ideas for colder weather munching.