Forgive me if you already knew this, but I think Flickr is just wonderful! I have some of my photos on there, but it is so much more fun to search for other people's photos. You can find just about anything you want and it is so easy to share favorites with others. I'm just sayin'...
SO! I was asked to join "Crock Pot Wednesdays" over at Dining with Debbie and since this Thursday I will be making potato soup in my crock pot, this is the perfect time to share a crock pot recipe! This is from the cookbook entitled, The Slow Cooker Bible, which my husband and I bought when we were first married (I can't believe 3 years have gone by!).
Ok, so this is one of Tom's FAVORITE soups! It is hearty and very easy to whip up! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! You can find more wonderful crock pot recipes HERE at Dining with Debbie.
Double Thick Baked Potato-Cheese Soup
~2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
~2 cans (10 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
~1 1/2 cups finely chopped green onions, divided
~1/4 tsp. garlic powder
~1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
~1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
~1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
~1 cup milk
~Ground black pepper to taste
1) Combine potatoes, soup, 1 cup green onions, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes in slow cooker. Cover; cook on LOW 8 hours or on HIGH 4 hours.
2) Add cheese, sour cream and milk; stir until cheese has completely melted. Cover; cook on HIGH 10 minutes. Season to taste with ground black pepper. Garnish with remaining green onions.
How adorable are these measuring cups from Anthropologie! I have always loved nesting dolls as a girl, but have never owned any. These would be perfect because they also have a use! I have lived in Chicago for 3 years now and have yet to go to one of their locations. I usually just look online. I am making it a point to go this year!
Tom and I had a fun weekend. We went hiking at Rollins Savannah with Lena. I took my binoculars, camera, and bird field guide because they have this whole bird observation area. It was beautiful there and we spotted 5 Egrets, 1 bird that I think was some kind of Heron but its characteristics didn't match up very well with my field guide, several gigantic! monarch butterflies, many yellow butterflies, and two ribbon snakes.
Unfortunately, while hiking, Lena grabbed at something and before we could figure out what was going on, she had in her mouth a baby field mouse (i think). It was SO SAD! We didn't even have her on a long lead because we were working on heeling, but the little thing ran out in front of her and she was fast to grab it up! I was so sad because it was so furry and cute and looked like my old beloved pet, Thelma. Lena almost caught a frog as well! She is definitely a country dog. I think of her as my sweet little puppy, but she is also a dog and loves to hunt, unfortunately.
Wow! Things are still crazy. Tom and I haven't been able to grocery shop like we usually do, so menu planning has been tricky. Soon, things will settle down, I am sure, and we will be able to menu plan and more importantly for me, cook some new things (especially soups!). This is what we're planning for the coming week:
Monday: Tomato Basil Soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches
Tuesday: Pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce (from our canning this summer)
Wednesday: Baked Salmon and Brown Jasmine Rice
Thursday: Potato Soup and Homemade Breadsticks
Friday: Most likely, Leftovers!
You can check out some awesome menu plans with recipes (sorry no recipes from me this week) HERE!! It is a great site, full of wonderful blogs.
I wish I could find a free image of this bird, but please go HERE to view it and learn more! I think this bird is so gorgeous! I think the website above is really great...even allows you to hear the bird's song. Enjoy!
Here's Tom and I enjoying a visit at the Garfield Park Conservatory. I just love it there! I already want to go back! This picture was taken in the Fern Room which was designed by Jens Jensen (as was a lot of the conservatory). Some of the plants in this room are over 300 years old!
So, I am so surprised that this Wednesday Tom and I will celebrate our 3rd year of marriage! I am excited for the future. Things have not been easy, mostly due to going back to school/finances/trying to find our way in a city we've never lived in and hardly knew anyone/etc.
But, I am SO thankful to have this man in my life. I had a crush on him from the first time I met him at the end of my freshman year. I didn't know if we would ever date- all I knew was that I was smitten and that I needed to pray about it. So many memories of this time flood my memory...
My bracelet that I wore all summer while in Thailand, our brief time of letter writing, the Pixies concert and the drive home, TD's CD's and LP's, meeting for lunch in the union, Roman history class together, chatting on instant messenger, making tacos on Thursdays at the Villas, all the times we hung out with friends at the Villas, and then of course, our trip to Nashville and Memphis where we visited Stax Records, Sun Records, The Civil Rights Museum, Graceland, and his proposal on St. Patrick's Day along the Mississippi River.
I was SO SHOCKED that we were already at that point! I had no idea how things would work out, but they just fell into place so smoothly. I'll never forget our car ride home from Tennessee, talking the whole way about our future together. Here's to more laughter and striving to bring out the best in each other...
SO! I have been reading about birds a lot lately...going through field guides and such and thought it would be fun to highlight a new bird each week on my blog. I am in NO WAY an expert, but I enjoy learning about different kinds of birds.
Since I though of it today, I will make Thursday the day for learning about birds! I don't have a cool name for this but am open to suggestions...
I really like this bird for some reason. Maybe it's the bird's coloring. The orange feet, legs, and bill and its pretty brown and white feathers make me think of autumn, which is OH SO NEAR! I also like this bird because one of the websites where I read about this species said that Greenland White-Fronted Geese are "especially acrobatic" in flight! I really wish I could discover what exactly this means for myself. I bet it is pretty cool!
So, I didn't get the position... Trying to stay positive as I continue subbing. This is kind of difficult because subbing has always been kinda tough for me. I just need some time to adjust. I was so set on NOT subbing and wanted to have my own class SO badly, but I am trying to be thankful that I DO HAVE A JOB. This whole experience has been really good. Really eye-opening, but good. This year may not go the way I want it to, but I have to trust that God is faithful and will not let me down.
You HAVE to check out this website and this one. They both just crack me up! On the bright side, since I do not have lesson plans to create or praise God I do not have homework to complete...I have been going through books at the library like a mad woman. I JUST LOVE the Chicago Public Library system. There are SO many locations and they have SO MUCH and you can even request that materials be sent to your closest location! I just picked up a bunch of books on sewing, knitting books with baby patterns (my cousin, Lisa is pregnant!), cooking, bird identification, wildflower identification, and a couple fiction books (I am on the 5th Harry Potter book now!). I LOVE coming home with a whole stack of books free of charge :)
Do you love how I am using all caps?? I just realized I was using them...oh well :)
I am excited for this Saturday! Tom and I are going to the Garfield Park Conservatory for the 9th Annual County Fair!
I can't wait! There there will be FREE bee keeping demonstrations, FREE composting demonstrations, and FREE food preservation demonstrations...all things I have started getting into (bee keeping is more of something I am fascinated by but would probably not want to try unless I had the real-deal suit so there is no chance of getting stung).
Plus this event is going to have a recipe swap that I am participating in, a farmer's market, and live music. I am so curious to see how a county fair will operate in the city...
Last but not least, I am PUMPED for all the new seasons of our favorite thursday night TV shows! My sister and Michael will be coming over to enjoy with us...reminds me of our college days at IU...if only more of our friends could join us!
Wow, i really miss menu planning, but life is SO nutso right now. Last week I had two interviews for a Pre-K teaching position and accepted the job on Thursday. It is a REALLY neat program with a strong emphasis on nature (something I JUST LOVE). BUT, then, the very next day, I got asked to interview this Wednesday for a 1st grade teaching position in a public school. I have been waiting for this interview ALL summer. It would mean my own class, much better pay than what the day care could offer me, health benefits, holidays off, and in the district I have subbed in for the past two years and did my student teaching with. It would also mean teaching "at-risk" kids, which are exactly the kinds of kids I feel called to teach.
I am SO thankful for the Pre-K position, but really would like the first grade position. It was really hard because I went back to the day care and explained my situation and while my new boss is SO wonderful, I still feel kind of bad and nervous about working there on Tuesday and then interviewing with the public school on Wednesday. I feel like I did the right thing so I need to let it go and just trust that God will smooth things and will guide me in doing what is right. I really do trust God and know that He will make everything clear soon and I am SO thankful to have two really great options after thinking that having my own class this year was just out of the question.
I am trusting God with it all and know He has a purpose. He knows the desires of my heart, but He also knows what is the very best for Tom and I.
Hopefully everything will be resolved by the end of this week (i am hoping and praying for this). Right now, I am clinging to the Psalms and would really appreciate any of your prayers. I am SO excited to begin my teaching career and I know whatever happens will be exactly what Tom and I need.