In the kitchen: Autumn is soup season around our home. It’s when I bring out the big soup pot and make warm, delicious meals for those cool evenings.  This week I made white bean soup and chicken butternut squash soup.  Both were absolutely delicious!  And yes…I tweaked both of them. I can’t seem to create a recipe verbatim.  Recipes are more like guidelines to me that I glance at for inspiration.  Tweak for the bean soup – I subbed ham for the bacon, I forgot to add the lemon juice & zest, and used fresh thyme instead of Italian seasoning.  Tweaks for the chicken and butternut squash soup – I roasted my own chicken and then peeled it apart and added it along with the drippings for the soup.  I also put in fresh tomatoes instead of canned, left out the olives altogether, and used fresh rosemary and thyme instead of oregano this time.

I also went to Jungle Jims with one of my brothers.  Oh my!  That’s always a dangerous store to go to. They have sooooo many interesting foods that I oftentimes find myself buying a few things to taste for the first time.


Some of our food treasures – balsamic vinegars, curry leaves, whole turmeric, quail eggs, duck eggs, and chocolate frogs for the kids.  We got some other stuff as well.  The duck eggs were yummy!!!!  The quail eggs taste like chicken eggs.


In the yard:  I made pumpkin soup for the chickens.  It’s supposed to be a natural de-wormer.  As far as I know, it works because our chickens are healthy!

pumpkin soup

I also went and picked the last of my basil and thyme before our first freeze took them.



Learning:  We played Where in the World is Dad? this week while he was in Mexico and Costa Rica.

For our field trip this week with our Orthodox homeschool group, we went to a basilica which was modeled after Notre Dame in Paris.  The boys and I studied about Notre Dame this week as well before visiting this cathedral.  Beautiful!


The boys outside the basilica


Nativity of Christ


The Stations of the Cross were gorgeous!  They were done by Venetian tiling.  From a distance, they look like a painting.  Up close you can see the tiling.


Venetian tiling


The rosette windows symbolize the Eye of God


Council of Ephesus where it was agreed that – 1. the Theotokos was the Mother of God and  2. Jesus had two natures, fully God and fully man.



Creating:  I’ve been teaching the boys how to paint.  This week, we mostly covered brush strokes –


Here’s some of Niki’s sketches while watching tv with me the other night –