Homemade Soup

One of our favorite things to eat on a cold winter’s day is a nice hot bowl of homemade soup. It’s easier to make than you think. Here is Leslie’s recipe for you to try at home.

In a large pot sauté one half sweet onion with one to two tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Sauté 5 to 8 minutes. 

Add one quart of chicken broth. 

Add 2 cubs of mixed frozen vegetables (carrot, corn, peas and green bean mix works nicely).  

Add 2 cubs of chicken (leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken works well). 

Add salt or pepper to taste.

Simmer for 30 minutes.

You can add a half a cup of precooked minute rice or precooked potatoes or precooked stuffing or precooked pasta or macaroni during the last 15 minutes of cooking.  

For a creamy soup you can add a half cup of whipping cream during the last 10 minutes of cooking.

You can add a handful of spinach during the last 5 minutes of cooking. 
Garnish with parsley or croutons or crackers. 

Serve. Eat. Enjoy!

Makes approximate 4 to 6 bowl servings.

Feel free to try your own variations with what you enjoy or have on hand as leftovers. Other ingredients we enjoy include adding a half cup of sweet potato, butternut squash, zucchini, black or cannellini beans, or pumpkin. 

Remember to enjoy the scents as it cooks, the yummy flavors as you eat, and the warm feeling on the inside as it goes down and you feel great knowing you made it yourself. 

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Game Night

We had a wonderful evening tonight, making some warm memories, and want to share the idea with you.  

Often we play a board game at home after dinner. Tonight we made an outing of it, taking our games to the Carriag pub at Gaelic Park. We met up with family, had a drink, shared an appetizer, and ate a yummy dinner. Then we broke out the board game (our choice was a game called “Say Anything”) and played together in the pub fireside. It was warm, cozy, cheerful and fun…and a great way to beat the artic freeze for a couple hours.

We laughed easily, we learned a few things about each other, and made a nice memory together.

So it cost a few dollars. Our time together was priceless.  

Left to right: Ed, Leslie, Michael, Sue, Canyon, Barbara and Charles

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The Santa Express

One Sunday evening a couple summers ago, we were out for a walk in our neighborhood. It was garbage night and some people had already put their garbage to the curb for pick up the next morning. We passed one such house and Leslie noticed something that caught her eye — it was a Christmas decoration that was more than what you expect to see in someone’s garbage.

Upon closer inspection it was an extraordinary piece of garbage. In fact, it wasn’t garbage at all. It was a misfit decoration of some considerable value that someone was discarding.  
Perhaps the owner didn’t want it anymore. Perhaps the owner had hoped someone who garbage picks might see it and recognize it for the treasure that it is and give it a home. This evening WE were those garbage pickers.
We quickly recognized the value of this piece and created a plan to have it for our own. Leslie would stay with the item curbside, and Ed would go back to get the car and come pick them up. Ed hurried back home, got the car, and picked up Leslie and their newly found Christmas treasure.
Back home, we worked to clean the item up. It wasn’t long before we could see how magnificent this Christmas decoration was – a hand-made tin train called the Santa Express. It was beautiful. It was painted in rich crimson and green and gold and blue colors with Santa hanging out the window ringing a bell. It appeared to be decades old, harkening back to a time when things were made well and built with pride to last.
We loved it!

That next Christmas we displayed it proudly for all to see. Guests that came to the house commented on the wonderful conversation piece. They wondered about its origin. They were surprised when we told them we had just found it in the garbage earlier that year. We were so proud of it!
When Christmas was over, we stored it, and once again this Christmas decorating season we brought it out again. We display it with pride, and intend to for years to come.
And to think this could have been disposed of in a garbage dump!
What treasures have you found discarded by someone else? What things of value do you throw out that could be given away to someone else or sold to someone who appreciates its value?  
We seem to live in a disposable society. Everything has a “useful life” and then gets thrown out.  
Maybe we should look for things of quality and value, care for them, and pass them down to generations to come.
God doesn’t make garbage. He has made each one of us with great care. He doesn’t see us as disposable. What one of us may see as trash, another will recognize as a treasure. And we can be thankful when they do.

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Edconomics Lesson #2 : Have More With Les

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Pillow Talk

(5:30am this morning)

Me: “But I don’t wanna go back to that place (ie. work).”

Leslie: “Yeah. Let’s run away.”

Ed: “Where would we go?”

Leslie: “The North Pole.”

Ed: “What would we do?”

Leslie: “Make toys…sing Christmas carols… bake Christmas cookies…kiss under the mistletoe.”

Me: “Sounds nice.”  (I love this woman!)

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Edconomics Lesson #1 : Les Is More

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Why Toesday?

—  By Ed Novick

One of my college buddies recently texted me to ask incredulously, “What the hell is Toesday??”.

My response was simply “Relationship insurance”. 

Of course the answer is much more complicated than that. But it captured what I thought he needed to know.

To expand on the answer gives a little more information about what Toesday is to me. 

I wasn’t always with Leslie. I was married previously. Sadly that marriage didn’t work out. And it was devastating to me.  In the painful throes of the divorce I did everything I could to try to save the marriage. I went to counseling, read books on relationships, went to support groups, went to church, consulted with experts, and tried to learn everything I could to save the marriage … or at least to learn everything I could to make the next relationship as secure as possible so as not to ever feel the pain of that loss again.

One of the simple joys of marriage is touch….loving touch. 

One of the excruciating pains of a failed relationship is being in the desert of deprivation of touch. 

Loving touch is so vital to wellness. 
Going for days, weeks, months or years without it can feel like hell. I was in that desert once. I didn’t know if I would make it out.
But I vowed if I ever made it out and into the wonderful pools of loving touch I would never take it for granted.

Of course keeping the vow came with some responsibilities. It meant being generous with giving loving touch to a partner.

One of the most wonderful examples of loving, caring touch was given by our Lord Jesus at the Last Supper. After that supper Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. And some of the disciples protested not wanting Jesus to touch their feet. They knew their feet were dirty and it was uncomfortable to have someone else care for their dirty, smelly feet. Jesus showed great Love. He loved his disciples as he loves us, right down to our dirty feet. 

I thought if I ever found love again. I would show such love for my loved one. 
Anyone can kiss their beloved’s head. But can you love them so much to care for their feet?

“Toesday” was inspired by those experiences and thoughts, and became a catchy way to make that a reality. 
Toesday is a weekly reminder to not take your partner for granted and to love them deeply and completely. 

Leslie complements my technique in massaging her feet. That’s nice to know that she appreciates my care. 
Hopefully what she’s feeling and experiencing is the deep love and care for her that I feel inside. Hopefully it’s a tangible way of experiencing my love for her. Hopefully it pampers her feet and makes her tingle right up to the top of her head.

We all need deep care. Jesus loves us in this way. He’s not around in person to care for us that way. We need to be the love of Jesus to one another. Caring for our loved ones deeply tenderly and intimately on Toesday, with a foot massage, is just following His example of love. 
You would do well to love your spouse so well, to preserve the loving relationship and to make it last.

Have a happy Toesday!

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