Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cute Kid Alert, A-Z Challenge, and Cheesy Deliciousness

It's already the 15th of the month, but so far January has gotten off to a good start.  I've been working hard on editing and it is going pretty well actually.  I set a goal of getting through one chapter each week and so far, I've kept on pace. :)

Cute Kid Alert

My 10 yr. old son decided to stop homeschooling this year and go to our local public school but my high school aged girls wanted to keep homeschooling.  It's worked well, except the girls miss their little brother so much while he's at school that one of my daughters decided to leave a note for him every morning before he gets on the bus.  She writes it late at night and puts it on the table so he sees it as he's eating breakfast.  She gives him little random assignments each day.  Today, it was to take a video of himself while doing 3 jumping jacks and hugging our beagle.  The girls have watched that video at least three times today as they anxiously await his return.

A-Z Challenge
 I've also come up with some ideas for this year's A-Z Challenge, which will be here before we know it!  The sign up lists opens in two weeks!  This year I want to pre-write at least some of my posts, so that I have more time to visit everyone else.

Fault In Our Stars
I read the book last year and loved it.  It's about two teens with cancer who meet in a support group and fall in love.  We watched the movie last weekend and it was excellent.  It's a tearjerker, (my eyes were puffy by the end and I think I used a whole Kleenex box),but not depressing, I think it's beautiful and hopeful.  I definitely recommend it, if you haven't seen it yet.

Cheesy Deliciousness

This morning here in Ohio it was about 10 degrees so I decided I wanted to make something warm and cheesy.  My mom's au gratin potatoes were the perfect accompaniment to such freezing cold temperatures.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it!

Au Gratin Potatoes

4-6 Idaho potatoes peeled and diced
Cream Sauce:
4 T butter
2 T flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk + more if needed
4 T mayonnaise
8 oz shredded mild cheddar cheese

Boil diced potatoes. Drain off water and pour potatoes into a baking dish. Melt butter in saucepan on low heat.  Add flour gradually blending with fork.  Combine milk, salt, and mayonnaise in small bowl, then gradually add to melted butter and flour in saucepan and stir until well combined.  Add 1/2 the cheese and stir until melted and creamy, if too thick add more milk and then add the remaining 1/2 of the cheese and cook stirring constantly until fully melted and has a smooth consistency.  Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and mix in gently. Bake at 350 for about 50 min or until just starting to brown on top.

How is your January going so far? Are you doing A-Z this year? What's your favorite recipe that warms you up?

Hope you're having a great week!

Kathy :)


  1. Ah, the wonderful chill of the northern states.
    That's cute that your daughters miss your son and leave him notes. You raised your kids right.
    I have my theme for the Challenge and I'm already planning my posts.

  2. Too cute about the girls leaving notes for Ryan. Our two older girls both bought copies of Fault In Our Stars at the shop last year and read it together. That was cute, too!

  3. Alex- I know, that's what I get for wanting a snowy Christmas! Thanks, they are good kids. I can't wait to find out more about Dragon of the Stars!

    Nick- :) I can't believe they remember to write a note every day! I love it when kids share a common interest, like reading together. That's so special!

  4. Loved your cute kid alert! Give yourself a pat on the back--you're a great mom! Decided upon my A-Z theme last night and kinda excited about getting started ahead of time. I'm a potato freak, any time, anywhere, and could dive into the computer screen for a helping.

  5. Goodness, A to Z is just right around the corner isn't it, I didn't do it last year, but I've done it two years in a row previously. I'll have to think about it.

    I think it's sweet that your girls leave a note for your son every day.

  6. It's interesting that your son wanted to go to public school while the girls opted to stay home.

    My dad gave me a copy of Fault in Our Stars. Someone had given it to him and he'd enjoyed it. Unfortunately he gave it to me just before I lost him to cancer and I haven't been able to read it yet.

  7. Oh, I imagine I'll be there for the A to Z again! I think I know what I'm doing, but not entirely.
    Sweet that your daughters have that attachment to their younger brother!
    And thanks for the Blitz visit a bit ago!

    1. Oh, and I forgot one thing...
      MY recipe for Au Gratin Potatoes would have to call for MAINE potatoes - not IDAHO! (married into a potato farmer's family)