Thursday, October 17, 2019


We're a little behind on our thankful tree this year because instead of making one out of paper I decided to paint one on the wall, which feels like a rather bold move, but I think it will be the end...when I'm finally finished. 

Rachel pointed out that "it's a cool idea but might look kind of silly the rest of the year," so I explained that we had big plans for ever-evolving wall art. Not only is it a thankful tree—it can also be a poet-tree, a Christmas tree, a heart tree, a tree with blossoms, a family tree, a tree filled with butterflies. There's no end to how we could bedazzle a tree. So a tree is going on my wall.

It feels like a rather brave thing to do since (a) it's so permanent and (b) I'm not, per se, an artist. But we're going to roll with it and see how it goes. 

Instead of painting our thankful tree tonight, however, I'm working on another family book (free offer expires on Sunday) about our last couple of years in Spanish Fork. There's a lot of ground to cover there. And instead of doing that, I'm sitting here writing. 


After pulling off Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, I made soup on Tuesday. 

It's cold, guys. 

It's put-an-extra-blanket-on-the-bed cold. 

We dropped from the nineties down to the fifties in the past week and we're f-f-f-f-freezing! 

Obviously we're not literally freezing because we haven't even turned the heater on yet (our HVAC system is so old that we have to switch over manually from cooling to heating, like barbarians) but we've definitely broken out our sweaters and fuzzy socks so that we can stand being inside our house (it's 66 degrees currently). 

So I made soup—cabbage roll soup, to be precise (this recipe).

When I released the vent on the instant pot, the comforting smell of soup filled the kitchen, and the kitchen filled with hungry children excited for dinnertime. 

"Dinnertime? Dinnertime?" Alexander asked, bowl and spoon already in hand. 

"Just about, little buddy," I said. 

"Yeeeeeeuck!" Zoë sneered. "Did Alexander poop in his diaper again?!"

We've not been having very much luck on that home front lately.

"I don't think so," I said, reaching over to pat his diaper. "I just took him potty a little while ago. No. His diaper is still clean."

"Then what is that disgusting smell?" she demanded. 

I sniffed the air, trying to decode this disgusting smell for her. I sniffed again. Everything smelled fine to me. And then it hit me.

"Oh," I said. "That's...dinner."

"Well, it smells disgusting," she said.

Once we'd all gathered at the table, Zoë stood on the bench to look inside the pot and announced, "Okay, that looks gross. I'm not eating it."

Unfortunately for her, it's what was for dinner, so she had to eat a bit. She ended up picking the carrots out to eat while shunning the rest, which was funny because ordinarily she hates "hot carrots," as she calls them (though she'll eat them raw without complaint...usually). 

Rachel wasn't a super fan, but she powered through it. Benjamin and Miriam really seemed to like it and they helped me eat it for lunch over the past couple of days. In fact, Miriam said that it was one of her favourite tomato-based soups ever. Usually she doesn't like tomato soup because she "just can't understand it. Like, why would anyone make a soup out of fruit?!" Broccoli soup? That she gets. But tomato? Ew. This was okay though because it had cabbage in it, which is her favourite vegetable of late.

To repent for making such an atrocious dinner (at least in Zoë's eyes), I made perogies for dinner on Wednesday (using the leftover potatoes from Thanksgiving). We made enough for two big platefuls and wolfed all but one of them down (and a helpful child put it in a container and put that container in the fridge and now we have a single perogi for us all to fight over, so that's nice.

This meal was much better received than cabbage roll soup.


  1. Well, I am excited to see your Thankful tree! Where are you painting it? And I think that you are an artist.

  2. I'd like to see your tree, too!

    "(and a helpful child put it in a container and put that container in the fridge and now we have a single perogi for us all to fight over, so that's nice.: -- what a visual! :)

    Re: your HVAC heat/air switch: We are barbarians, too! Solidarity!

    Have you ever had strawberry soup? Talk about something weird to make soup out of! :)

  3. Funny! Tomato soup (from a can, haha) is one of Alice's favorite meals (that she can make herself). If it helps Miriam, the term "vegetable" is not actually a plant classification, the way "fruit" is. So I personally think people make too much a deal over the whole "tomato is a fruit" thing. :)

  4. Oh, and Leon loves raw carrots but also will not eat them cooked. Kids and their taste buds... (which, we've learned from Wow in the World podcast, can change! So that's been super helpful at dinnertime, haha!)