Crock-Pot Potato Soup

Potato Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 8 - 10 potatoes, peeled and diced
  2. 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  3. 1 onion diced
  4. 3 to 5 cups of water
  5. 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  6. 1 tsp dried parsley
  7. 1/2 tsp. garlic, diced
  8. 1/3 cup butter
  9. 12 oz can evaporated milk
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes, carrot and onion in slow cooker with remaining ingredients [except can milk]
  2. Cover and cook on low setting for 10 - 12 hours or high setting for 4 to 5 hours. During last hour of cooking stir in evaporated milk.
Notes
  1. I leave out the carrot, parsley and garlic.
http://michelletuck.com/
 
potatosoup

I Used To Take Pictures

Photography is something that I love, something that I [used to] want to learn as much as I could about. But over the past two/three years I have hardly picked up my camera. When I think back and try to pinpoint why I put it down, the only thing I keep going back to is someone very close to me found out some very bad news. With their life being turned upside down because of sickness I felt guilty capturing happy moments. Honestly, I didn’t just stop taking pictures, I stopped enjoying life. I sank back into depression and I didn’t even try to fight it.  
gingerbread houses

It wasn’t until David, in a not-so-pleasent-way, helped me to see that my depression was not just affecting me, but our family.  The thing that hit me the hardest is when he asked, how can you even begin to help her when you can’t even get out of the bed? I felt ashamed and selfish. 

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This post was supposed to be about getting back into photography.  I guess it all ties together somehow 🙂

trail

I miss it. So much! When I look through my Flickr account or the many folders I have on the computer, I feel like there are so many moments missing. Moments that I didn’t capture, a smile, a birthday, a surprise,  a kite being flown,   games being played, and even  the unpleasant, a messy room, a pile of laundry or a pile of shoes.

Shoes

I am determined to pick my camera back up, to get in the habit of having it with me and ready to go. My goal is not to become a professional photographer by any means. I just want to document the moments in our lives, no matter how big or small, good lighting or bad lighting, blurry pictures and all. I want to be able to look back through the snapshots of our lives and remember when.

It’s Hard Having Good Kids

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Before David and I started having kids I was determined that I was going to raise, to the best of my ability, well behaved kids. Once Emily reached the “terrible twos” I started reading every parenting book I could find. Then a year later I read them again because now I had two toddlers under foot and I had no idea what I was doing. While the crying, screaming, fighting and just plain disobedience was enough to bring me to tears on a daily basis, that was not the hard part. 

The daily discipline was much harder. So much harder.

There were days I wanted to give up. There were days when I thought letting them talk back, be disrespectful, tell me no & run around the house like wild animals would be easier. And to be honest, it would have been.

But I love my girls and I want what’s best for them. David and I made a commitment to God that we would do our best to raise them to bring honor to Him.

When Emily and Audrey were 4 and 5 I hated for people to tell me how well behaved the girls were because it was usually followed by, you’ve got it so easy.

Even now having a 14, 12 & 7 year old I hear some of those same statements and it makes me cringe on the inside. I know people mean well & I know they don’t mean anything by it and really it is a compliment but something about “having it easy” just irks me.

Because frankly, being a mom to these three girls is THE hardest thing I have ever done. Having to discipline your children when needed is anything but pleasant. It’s not fun having to spank, say no, take toys and fun things away from the girls as punishment. It’s an awkward thing to have to call up a friend and cancel plans because the kids will not behave or cancel a sleepover because a child is being so dang stubborn.

David and I have been asked so many times over the years what’s the secret, how do you get them to behave, they are so polite. Once we start talking about discipline nine times out of ten they lose interest. I don’t know what they expect us to say its not like we have a magic pill or anything.

My girls do not tell me no now because I did not allow them tell me no when they were little. They do not raise their voices in anger to us because we did not let them get by with it when they were little. Just as we don’t make excuses for their bad behavior now we did not do it then.

Two of my favorite books are The Strong Willed Child and Creative Correction. And I had lots of creative ways to discipline the girls. Some were thought out well in advance while others just came to mind right there in the moment. There were times when this momma broke the rules and was “caught” by the girls and like a big girl I had to take the same punishment I gave to them. Even if it meant I had to wear a lollipop stick on my nose for five minutes.

I’m not saying our children are perfect, in fact they are far from it. But it was hard getting them to where they are now. And while our days of the terrible twos are far behind us we have reached a new season in our lives having teenagers and just like we did when they were two we will figure it out one tear at a time.

A Little of This and That

We are taking a much needed break from theater. Seussical kept us crazy busy with early mornings and late evenings. We will be auditioning for Annie in a couple weeks. All 5 of us. The girls are super excited that we will all be in the show together.

Emily turned 14 a couple weeks ago. FOURTEEN! Where in the world did the time go? We spent her birthday hanging out at the coolest place – Airbound – wall to wall indoor trampolines. The girls loved it! David was able to bounce around and play around with them. Me and my bad back sat in the lobby reading.

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I was going through Light Room hoping to get it cleaned up a bit. Instead, I got sidetracked looking at all the pictures the girls have taken these past couple of months.

They have totally taken over the D40

Do your kids run around outside with bed sheets? Mine do. A lot.

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audreysarah (1 of 1) - Copy

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water droplets on plate taken by Audrey

girls (1 of 1)And I’m a little behind in posting our Halloween picture.

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My little nerd girl

Day 2/365 & The New Year

I really haven’t set many goals for the year of 2013. Mainly, because come February, I’m like, huh, what resolutions. Ha!

I did set a couple though.

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Day 2/365

To complete the read your bible in a year plan. Emily and Audrey put me to shame! They both read through the entire bible last year and have set a goal to do it again this year.

Read more non-fiction. I have no troubl
e what-so-ever picking up a book and getting lost in a good story. I have spent many a night saying, one more chapter, until …… there are no more chapters. But give me a non-fiction book, and well, I just get lost or fall asleep.

A side note: If you have teenagers you NEED to read The Five Love Languages of Teens. It has really opened my eyes to a lot of things.

Take pictures!And print pictures! Even if it is just a Willow Tree or a stack of books. I’m starting, for like the 5th time, the 365 challenge. I am determined to do it this year. The past couple of years I have become really lazy when it comes to capturing our day to day lives.  I pulled out my Project Life kit last week and basically I completed January.
girls

Spend more time with these crazy kids! I cannot believe how fast the time has gone by. Audrey turned 12 in August and Emily will be 14 in a couple weeks. We basically have 5 years left preparing these girls for the “real world” and I’ll be honest, it scares me to death.And Sarah, no matter how much I beg her to stay little, wants to grown up.

To make time for David and me. To have more date nights. And just talk. I look so forward to our anniversary trips, that time alone, being us, not mommy and daddy, is just so nice. And relaxing.
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And finally, have fun. Be silly. Relax. Stop fretting over the stuff that doesn’t matter and enjoy life.