As I savored a pumpkin muffin yesterday morning it hit me that it was a truly amazing feat to live in Bogota for two years where they did not have pumpkin. I mean we could hoard from the commissary if a shipment came in or we could happen upon it in a random shipment, this is in a can. But when you think of mums and large, happy pumpkins they just didn’t exist. I so missed the seasons shifting and the fall abundance! Come to think of it while Seth is allocating US monies for South America I should really help him see the need for aid workers to be teaching Colombian farmers the pumpkin growing trade. Great for the country’s economy, or maybe just for morale of Americans in the country.  Multiple news stories have advertized Colombia getting more and more attractive to tourists and expats alike. But let’s be honest, a world without pumpkins is still not fully seeing the light.  Sending you Bogota folks lots of pumpkin love!

Last week I made Edie’s (from Life in Grace) soup that I shared with you last year. It’s Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Barley and Chicken!  When you read the recipe it will sound strange but it is oh so delicious! And even the boys eat it and love it! It’s kind of like a fall curry.

Trader Joe’s is hopping with pumpkin goodness these days!! I grabbed a box of their pumpkin cranberry scones.

Next up on the pumpkin docket are…

Frosted Pumpkin Cake 

Pumpkin and Sage Sausage Pasta

and of course there will be pumpkin bread and pancakes as the fall months go on!








Speaking of pumpkins, I feel like I have a large one growing inside me. Her limbs often feel like a pokey pumpkin stem! 35 weeks on Wed and counting down!! We were worried on Friday night that I might be in labor but things slowed down. I am slowly lowering my caseload numbers and really crossing my fingers that my water won’t break in a patient’s home.





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Seth flew the coop last week and has since been in Lima, Peru for work. The day before he left Jackson asked if Seth was needing to go to work in Peru so he could have some peace and quiet to get some work done…this after a very stressful day of Seth attempting to telework amongst the boys. Truth is, I bet the peace and quiet have been nice!

A couple days into Seth being gone my aunt offered to come hang out and help out with the boys.  Those of you who know me well know that I am really bad at accepting help but being big pregnant and with Seth away I decided her company would be a lovely diversion to a tough week. She helped enormously with cooking meals for the freezer for upcoming days of desperation, doing homework with Jackson, helping me rearrange furniture (shhh! seth doesn’t know about this one yet), stayed with Owen during a dr’s appt for Jackson, and on and on. Seriously, she knocked my socks off. Maybe I should accept help more often. More on “Aunt Ruby” later.

So why the title about flip flops?  I went to the school to get Jackson, skipping the loading and unloading of Owen because my aunt had him, I was picking Jackson up solo. I must have had an extra spring of freedom in my step having only one child to care for and as I stepped out of the car my darn flip flop busted. Ummm, freeze. How do I pick Jackson up in front of the school with one shoe? Or do I take them both off, look silly showing up barefoot but not as silly as only one? Or do I put it on and figure out exactly how to hold my foot so it stays on temporarily? (this is impossible by the way) Oh wait, I have gum in my purse. good thinking. Quickly, I pop the gum in my mouth, get it good and ready and press it into the whole where the flip part attaches to the flop?! following me. No luck. Now had it worked there would have been the dilemma of walking to the school with the feeling of a wad of gum under my flip flop. Soooo…I decided to carry my flipping flop and that way it would be obvious to all curious minds that my shoe had just broken and I just needed to pick up my kid, for crying out loud.  I semi hid behind the bush hoping Jackson would see me before I had to tell my story. He spotted me and we darted back to the car. Feeling like 2 first graders with a shoe dilemma. When I asked about his day he told me it was terrible because his shoe laces kept coming untied and he was tripping over them. Seems it was a bad shoe day.

And then because flip flops have so much to do with freezer meals I thought I would roll this all into one post. Here are the recipes we decided to use…..

La Madeline Knock off  Tomato Basil Soup

(I use less butter and usually half and half but lots of butter and cream never killed anyone…well, it probably has but you know what I mean)

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes

I added mushrooms since I had them…this is a nice break from heavy saucy pasta dishes. My sister-in-law introduced us to it!

Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Pot Pie

I skipped the homemade crust…and I used the modified version from her cookbook that includes a bit of white wine as well.

White Chicken Enchiladas

I only had one can of chili’s so we drained a can of rotel tomatoes and chili’s to make up for the rest


We also made Cinnamon rolls… but I don’t have the link for that at the moment!


The freezer is stocked…not so much for once baby arrives but more for the coming weeks when we have to keep up with soccer, school, bible study etc and I am worn out!


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Jackson started soccer on Friday with Coach Seth by his side again for the Fall season. His first game was Sat. Last Spring was Jackson’s first season to play and it was neat to see him start up this Fall season with some more skill and focus. We are excited to see him grow and learn with his teammates!  And I must say Coach Seth has gotten pretty darn good at herding cats… I mean coaching 1st graders!

Here are some pics!










Jackson told Seth he’ll be calling him “Coach Seth” just so the other kids don’t get confused.







let’s be honest, some family members show up for the fruit snacks they snag
















learning throw-ins







and I missed getting a picture of Jackson’s first goal but I caught the celebration! …



















pure joy!







sweaty and celebrating!


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My canning buddy Rebecca and I decided to combine our tomatoes one week, along with a few from the farmers market close to our home. We made a triple batch of homemade salsa! Rebecca was the MVP of the day because I had an appointment to get Owen’s stitches out of his ear so she got started on the messy work of peeling and de-seeding the tomatoes!! I waltzed in from our appointment for the last round of peeling which hardly compared to what she had accomplished!





















































































Here is the recipe from for the salsa in case anyone is drowning in tomatoes and cares to give salsa a try!!


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