Hot Dog Potato Soup

Madilyn helped Mommy make dinner for the first time tonight. We made “Hot Dog Potato Soup,” a recipe in this month’s issue of Simple & Delicious from Taste of Home.

100_6349She poured in the cans of soup, the shredded cheese, milk and even the hot dog pieces. All that was left was for Mommy to heat it up on the stove. Here’s the recipe in case you’d like to make it. It’s really yummy!

Hot Dog Potato Soup
Prep/Total Time: 15 min., $1.79 per serving
Jeannie Klugh of Lancaster, PA, who submitted the recipe says you can make this with leftover meatballs instead of hot dogs and leftover corn in place of frozen. Use any cheese blend you have on hand.

2 cans (18.8 oz. each) ready to serve chunky baked potato with cheddar and bacon bits soup
4 hot dogs, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup milk

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until heated through, stirring every 2 minutes. Yield: 5 servings.


Most of you know that Jeff been on track to move up the administrative ladder in the school district he works for. He’s gone from being a first-year teacher to a dean and now to an athletic and activities director in just seven years. The next step is to throw his hat into the Assistant Principal “pool.” In order to be considered eligible, Jeff has to complete a lengthy selection process. He’s been doing this over the course of a year after finishing his master’s degree. The last step to gain access to the “pool” is what’s called an “In-Basket” exercise, an invitation-only event where candidates are presented extraordinary challenges an AP might face and are required to well, handle them appropriately. It’s a challenging test. Jeff took it a bit prematurely last year, and although he passed, he didn’t receive a grade high enough to enter the pool and has had to wait an entire year to take it again.

Jeff has gotten some incredible first-hand experience in the past year at Evans High School, especially learning from their incredible principal there. He’s had the best to learn from. Jeff was just invited today to the next “In-Basket” session, which could be Sept. 23 or Nov. 18. After he passes with flying colors as I know he will, he’ll be eligible for a higher position. Please partner with us in praying for Jeff – for the test, for the right doors to open at the right time for him and for him to continue to have God’s hand on him as he impacts lives for the better in that environment. He’s worked hard for this and I’m so proud of him.

Sundaes and Mondays

Madilyn enjoyed a hot caramel sundae this weekend all by herself. I promise we don’t feed her sugar all the time; it’s just that treats are so much more fun to photograph.


She enjoyed every bite.


She was also covered in sand at the same time after having played in her sandbox, so I’m sure the ice cream had a bit of a gritty texture.


We took her straight to the bath tub when she finished. A mess worth every bite.


Here she is looking all grown up Sunday morning.


This pretty dress was from her Aunt Pam and Uncle John and cousins for her birthday. She looked beautiful. The cute bow was made by Tracy. I love that she’s posing!


On Monday, Madilyn went to her Mother’s Day Out (“school”) orientation. We met her teachers, Ms. Janice and Ms. Tabatha, and played in the room for an hour. She loved it and cried when it was time to leave. The rest of the day she would ask to go back to “cool” (school). She would say, “I need cool! I need cool!”


Here she is checking out the weather forecast in the classroom. Looks like fair skies. There are several different centers in the room: like reading, blocks and home. They have a schedule they follow that includes craft time, outdoor play, snacks and lunch, rest time and singing. On Wednesdays she will go to “Gym Buddies” which is like tumble time. The teachers put Madilyn in this class early last year, so this year she will be a veteran.


This is her new teacher, Ms. Tabatha. When she brought her into the room, Ms. Janice (who helped out Madilyn’s class last year) told Tabatha that Madilyn was the little girl she had been telling her about … that she was so sweet and beautiful and that she looked like a porcelain doll. Of course my heart swelled with pride! She said this in front of about 12 other kids’ parents, too! Glad that Ms. Janice loves Madilyn and that she is going to have a great year in the class.

When I dropped her off Tuesday for her first day, she had big crocodile tears as I turned to leave her. It broke my heart. But she had a good day and today there were no tears … she was pretty distracted as I left. I hope she adjusts well and learns a lot in her time there. I pray that God keeps her healthy and well.

More Sweets for My Sweet

I allowed Madilyn to have a taste of the giant lollipop we gave as party favors at her birthday.


Needless to say she loved it.

And was really upset when we took it away from her.

Be glad you weren’t here.


And here’s yet another treat. Skinny Cow’s strawberry shortcake ice cream sandwiches. To die for! So yummy. She needed some help figuring out how to eat it, and soon it was a sticky mess, but worth every bite.


Speaking of sweets, there’s a new sweet charity idea that’s called Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. The principle is simple: raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer research by organizing bake sales in your community. Read about it here.

Finally, here’s my sweetie Sunday night and Wednesday night before church. She’s got the hang of cheesing for the camera:



Yes, that’s a headband she’s wearing as a giant bracelet. Girl’s got her own fashion sense, what can I say?

Sweet Sunday

Jeff took this sweet picture of Madilyn and me this morning. She’s wearing a pretty dress her Nana bought for her.

Madilyn worked on a pretty picture for a long time yesterday.

Madilyn recently got interested in Mickey and Minnie. I picked up these bath mitts for her but she just thinks they’re puppets. So fun!

2 Years

Madilyn had her 2-year checkup at the doctor. She cooperated very well for the nurse, and didn’t even cry when she got a shot. She will return annually for checkups after this point. She measured 34″ tall and weighs 30 pounds. I thank God for our healthy, beautiful little girl who’s developing normally. I don’t ever want to take that for granted.

Playing Catch-Up

I haven’t posted in a while so I have quite a bit to catch up on. Here we go!


The first stop in our tour of pictures today is Madilyn’s watermelon dress from Nana for her birthday. Tracy made a super cute bow to match it.


Madilyn loves talking to Baby Kate. She is growing so fast!


This week I found Madilyn kickin’ back with her play tea set, sunglasses on and feet up on her Lego table. She was straight chillin’.


She’s also getting creative with the pillow cushion arrangements. Girl knows how to get comfortable.


Madilyn likes arranging her chairs in front of the tv and putting her Wonder Pets figurines in them or her dolls. So cute and creative.


This weekend Jeff’s Aunt Lynn and Uncle EJ came to visit from Maryland. They are always a delight to see and they love spending time with the kids. Here they are checking out some home videos on the computer.



We went out to eat a couple of times and enjoyed a lot of laughs and fun.


This was a cute little outfit I got at a resale shop. She wore it Saturday to the Rainforest Cafe.


Baby Kate at the Rainforest Cafe


Madilyn’s cute zebra outfit from Nana



Pam and Baby Dane made their first appearance at church this morning. Everyone was thrilled to see them.


The family went to Mimi’s house for lunch after church and Madilyn got some quality time with her favorite people. Here she is relaxing in the floor with Uncle John!



Mmmm … cupcake! She ate all the icing off first using one finger, then ate the cupcake from the top to the bottom.


A cute dress that she got from Sydney for her birthday (along with an adorable Madeline book!)


The Minnie Mouse was a gift from Aunt Lynn this weekend.


Well, that should do it. Thanks for joining us on our tour of the last two weeks! We’ll see you next time!