Here is our beautiful Sophie on the day that she received Jesus for the first time in Holy Communion! Sadly, this was two years ago now. I have been very behind on dealing with my photo files! Next, I'll have to post a pic from Zoe's Confirmation!
The schools were all canceled today due to a big snowstorm that was predicted. Well, when we got up today, there was not a flake. It finally got going close to noon, and the rest of the day was beautiful -- if you like to watch the snow fall!
With the snow, it seemed like a soup sort of day. I made a big pot of a beef and vegetable soup that everyone enjoyed. It was just the thing for a snowy day.
Beef and Vegetable Soup
2 lbs. ground beef
2 T Coconut Oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 small stalks celery with leaves,chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. fennel seed
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can tomato paste
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
8 cups beef broth
4 cups red cabbage (about half a head) diced bite sized
About 4 oz. fresh spinach, chopped
1.Brown ground beef in large soup pot.Drain and rinse beef and set aside.
2.Wipe out pot and heat coconut oil in it over
3.Add onions, celery, and carrots and sauté until
translucent and veggies start to soften.
4.Add zucchini and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes more.
5.Add browned ground beef, salt, pepper, basil,
oregano, fennel seed and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
6.Stir in tomato paste.
7.Add tomatoes and beef broth and bring to a boil.
8.Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 30
9.Add cabbage and spinach and simmer for 10
Once again, here I'm beginning again! I have quit the part-time job I had for just over a year. Whew! It was a very good job and I was so grateful to have it, but things really suffered at home. My husband's business has also picked up (thank you, St. Joseph!), so he did not have time to manage things at home while I was at work and he needs me to help him do some project management. I'm thrilled! I'm thrilled to be back home full-time with my family, and I'm also thrilled to finally get to do what my husband and I have dreamed of doing for years -- work together. Well, of course we've always worked together, but now we get to *work* together, too!
Along the way, I've rediscovered my passion for cooking. I made Coq au Vin the other night. It was good, but not as amazing as I would wish considering the work involved. The salad we gad was better -- the Barefoot Contessa's Balsamic Roasted Red Onion Salad. Next, I made Daube de Boeuf Auberge de la Madonne from Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells. It was incredible over garlic mashed potatoes with a salad of baby romaine with blue cheese and toasted walnuts tossed with a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil.
Tonight is my long night at the dance studio, so it will be shredded beef with barbeque sauce on buns. I haven't decided on side dishes yet, but the beef smells wonderful slow roasting in the oven with liquid smoke, garlic salt, and pepper rubbed over it!
Time to gather up my "students" and get them back on task!
My dear friend, Susan died yesterday on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Susan was a truly beautiful soul. She was my Spiritual Guide for a while during a time when I was needing help growing in my Faith.
Susan fell ill more than 13 weeks ago with what was thought to be an ordinary sinus infection. But Susan didn't get better. She suddenly began to have seizures. Within a couple of days, the doctors here were unable to control her seizures and she was flown to the Mayo Clinic. She was kept in a medically-induced coma while the doctors tried everything they could think of. They never did find a cause for her seizures, except that it appears that something triggered Susan's immune system to attach the limbic system of her brain.
She leaves behind her husband Todd who is devastated. I asked their daughter how long they had been together and she told me that Todd had given Susan a necklace with a note in sixth grade! They have four children here on earth and three (I think) that were born into heaven. I guess Susan has finally gotten to see those little ones she never got to hold here on earth.
They received so many graces while Susan was in the hospital, which is a beautiful Catholic hospital in the Mayo Clinic system. Their youngest son even made his First Holy Communion in his mother's hospital room. They received excellent spiritual care from a couple of holy priests. Susan was even able to receive the Precious Blood of Christ through her feeding tube several times.
Her passing was peaceful, with her whole family present. I am sure she was doing Christ's work even in her coma and that she is experiencing eternal glory with him in Heaven.
I will be making some Millecosedde Soup from the recipe she gave me when she brought a big pot of it over after my youngest was born. She also brought a pot of homemade chicken noodle one winter when my husband had pneumonia.
I am so happy that her suffering is over now, but I will miss her.
Please pray for Susan and her family. Hug your family and friends. We never know how long we have here to love.
When we had our children, our ideas changed somewhat. Thenceforward we lived only for them; they made all our happiness and we would never have found it save in them. In fact, nothing any longer cost us anything; the world was no longer a burden to us. As for me, my children were my great compensation, so that I wished to have many in order to bring them up for Heaven. -- Saint Zelie Martin