New Years 2010: Sick, Soup, and Supercute

We ended our New Year's Eve toting home a child sick with the stomach flu. A late night turned into a really late night (I was up until 4:30...and not having much fun, unless your twisted idea of fun is changing bed sheets multiple times.)
But some things happen for a reason. Our New Year's Day has been nothing but rest and quiet, a relaxing start to a new year. With the rowdiest member of the family down for the count, I got to spend time with my oldest daughter, reading books and making crafts. Usually when we attempt such things, there is a spontaneous sword thrust into our chests or a paper airplane comes zooming through the air. (Really, did I birth Max and Ruby??)
But today, oh today, at 6:30PM we are still in our pajamas. We have only eaten soup all day, if you don't count the Popsicles I just fed the sickie etc. Table strewn with paper scraps, twigs, and bits of wire, there's a beautiful craft in the corner that will remind me of this strangely odd and strangely wonderful day.
Not quite pork and kraut soup
2 Tbl olive oil
1 onion (sweet), chunked
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (I like Penzey's Tuscan Sunset. A LOT.)
2 large carrots, sliced
1/2 cabbage, sliced
12 oz. ham steak, diced
5-6 cups chicken broth
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans cannellini beans, undrained
red wine vinegar to top (optional)

In soup pot, saute onion in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add italian seasoning and cook 1 more minute. Then add everything else (not vinegar) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, as soup does best, until veggies are cooked and the smell can't keep you away any more.
If you're a vinegar person like I am, give a shake of vinegar in your bowl when you serve it.
And while it's cooking, here's a cute craft to work on.
It's one of those things that requires no explanation-- we just used fancy flower punches and colored paper. Poked a wire through two of them and wrapped them around some dead twigs from the yard. It came out better than I had hoped, and sits on my baker's rack, a constant reminder of how we ushered in 2010. Party on.


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