After School Snack

I found these.


Yes, caramel filled chocolate chips. I knew 4 little people that would love these.

So, today I got everything ready. But I know one thing about these 4 little people. They like warm cookies. So I set the dough aside.

Surprise Inside

These 4 little people were very happy with that decision because that also meant they got some cookie dough. They were happy to hang out and wait for gooey goodness to be done.

The Wait

And when the wait was over, the true happiness began.



New Favorite Salad Topper

Pickled onions and jalapeños.


1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 red onion sliced thin
(I throw in some jarred jalapeños to spice it up.)

6 servings, each with 23 calories, 5.4g carbs, 0.2g protein, 0g fat

I have been eating this on every salad. I also use the pickling liquid as a dressing. I’m sure breath is smelling fabulous lately.

Rainy Day Soup – Chicken, Potato, Leek Soup Recipe

“What do you want for dinner?”
“Hmmmm.  Soup sounds good on this rainy day.  I really liked that lentil soup I had the other day, the one in the can.”
“Okay.  Maybe I will make a homemade one today.”

Out the door to take Brodie to a Writer’s Conference he was invited to attend.  As Brodie was led away by a little girl from his school to sit with her, I was off to the co-op.

Lentil soup….  Let’s see, onions?  Eh, potatoes?  Not with lentils, but potatoes sound better to me than lentils.  Executive decision … scratch the lentils.  Okay, start with potatoes.  Potato soup.  Eh, I don’t want a heavy cream soup.  Chicken and potatoes.  Okay, but there needs to be something else with that.

Walking around the co-op is just inspiring.  I LOVE this place.  It is beautiful, organic, fresh, healthy food amongst people that are MY people.  There is every vegetable you could want.  A cook’s dream.

Squash?  Maybe.  Bok Choy? Mmmm.  Leeks?  Oh ya.  Yum.  Chicken, potato and leeks.  Ah, yes, and spinach.  That’s it.

That’s how this soup was born today.

I started with the stock.  I bought a small 2-3 pound young chicken.  Covered the chicken with water in the stock pot and brought to a boil.  On this first boil there will be lots of foam on the top of the water.  After the water begins to boil, drain all the water out of the pot and cover the chicken with fresh water.  Season with 3-5 teaspoons salt, pepper and whatever other seasonings you prefer.  I used oregano, basil and thyme (about 1 teaspoon of each).  Return to the heat and allow it to simmer for 2 hours.


After the 2 hours, remove the chicken from the stock and break apart to allow it to cool.  Once it is cool enough shred the meat off the bone and put the chicken carcass back into the stock to continue cooking.

Meanwhile, cook your vegetables.  Boil 2 cups of raw spinach for 1-2 minutes, drain, and immediately place into ice cold water to stop the cooking process.  Remove the spinach from the cold water and squeeze as much of the water from the spinach as possible.  Cut the bulbs of 4 leeks into 1/2 inch rings.  Heat a Tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and sweat 5 cloves of minced garlic.  Add in the spinach and leeks and cook until the leeks are soft.  Set aside.


Cut 8 small (Idaho :) ) russet potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes, rinse off with cool water and place in a pot.  Cover the potatoes with cold water and put over medium high heat, bringing to a boil.  Allow to simmer until the potatoes are almost fully cooked.  You want to drain the water and remove them from the heat when they are not quite done.  They will finish cooking at the end when you re-heat them in the stock.

Strained Potato

I set all of the components to the soup aside and allowed the stock with the bones to continue cooking until about 1/2 an hour before dinner.  At that point I strained the stock and threw away the carcass.  I returned the stock back to the stock pot and added in the shredded chicken, potatoes, and spinach and leek mixture.  I allowed all the ingredients to marry over about 15-20 minutes and then served.  The entire batch will make at least 8 servings of soup with each serving having 320 calories, 35 g carbs, 3.4 g fat, and 35 g protein.  Super healthy.

Chicken, Potato, Leek Soup

When a New Diagnosis is a Good Thing

As you can see…

Another Apparatus

Perry has started patching.  This has long been on the possibility agenda and we have finally pulled the trigger.  Today was the first attempt.  He removed it once, but has since been pretty agreeable about it.

While at the ophthalmologist I asked him something I have never asked before, “Is Perry legally blind without his glasses?”

The question was posed to me yesterday when we went for feeding therapy.  I told her no, but then realized I had never asked.  I wasn’t sure whether someone would phrase it to me in that way and the answer could have some serious implications for us.

Since getting to Boise and hooking up with all of Perry’s professionals here we have been sent down some VERY helpful paths.  So, all the people who thought we were going to get less quality care here in Boise, I highly beg to differ.  One path that has been extremely helpful is a care coordinator.  I’m not sure why this wasn’t offered to us in Chicago.  Almost all of Perry’s care was at Lurie Children’s Hospital and it is helpful to have someone HELP you navigate everything in the medical system.  Unbeknownst to me, they also help you navigate the legal system.  Our coordinator taught me about some funding that we could apply for.  It is funding that, in the state of Idaho, helps families with children who have multiple disabilities pay for their care.  Families that don’t qualify for medicaid.  But we have piles and piles of bills for Perry’s care.  And therapies that Perry needs that we have to limit because his insurance only covers so many sessions.  If Perry qualifies for these funding opportunities we can take advantage of all the therapy he needs.

As you can imagine, a diagnosis of autism, profoundly deaf, and legally blind speaks volumes of all that Perry is dealing with.  More than being autistic, profoundly deaf and visually impaired.  So, if Perry is legally blind it may be a door opener.  I wasn’t sure what the answer was going to be.  I mean Perry can see.  But I knew that legally blind doesn’t mean you are totally blind.  I knew Perry’s prescription is STRONG.  I mean it is double my own prescription and I feel like I can’t see anything without my glasses.  But was it strong enough for that diagnosis.

“Legally blind is a bit subjective.  There’s not a prescription that you must have to be considered legally blind.  But here is Perry’s prescription without his glasses.”

I held the 2 eye pieces up to my eyes and looked straight ahead.  Whoa.  I couldn’t see anything.  Colors here and there, but not the shape of anything.

“That E on the eye chart… you can’t read it, right?”

I nodded.

“Generally, if you can’t discern that on the eye chart you would be considered legally blind.  So, yes, I would consider Perry to be legally blind.”

So weird to almost be happy about it.  I certainly wasn’t sad.  Perry couldn’t see any better or worse before he said it and couldn’t see any better or worse after he said it.  It is just words.  Kind of like his diagnosis of autism.  It doesn’t change anything.  It truly doesn’t.  BUT it may change the help we can receive for him.  Help beyond what I can do.  Help from people who have dedicated their lives to helping kids like Perry.  Help that can change Perry’s life.


Perry is often off in his own little world.  Sometimes I really wish I knew more of what was going on in that world.  He seems to have such a good time.  It must be a great place to be.


First Chess Tournament

Our first chess tournament in Boise and Cale’s first ever.  He placed 4th in his division.  As tough as it was to get him out of the house in the early morning, he handle every loss so well.  Getting a medal in his first attempt was icing on the cake.

First Tournament