‘Tis The Season + Winter Vegetable Soup

Good Eats (Camaraderie)

A few nights before our date night we decided to deck the halls! This made my heart extra eager for Christmas. I don’t know what it is but I am ready for Christmas. I am well aware that Thanksgiving hasn’t yet come upon us, but Facebook and Instagram are telling me I am not alone in wanting Christmas to come a little early this year. Matt would say you have a Scroogy-Grinch-Heart if you’re upset about the arrival of Christmas before Thanksgiving. Our date night was a few nights later, so I decided to make Alton Brown’s Winter Vegetable Soup. The title alone sounded absolutely delightful and made my heart full of cheer. I am a huge veggie fan, so I absolutely loved everything about this recipe.  Alton says the key to vegetable soup is not to add meat! This sounds like a no brainer, but he says most recipes for vegetable soup actually put meat in them! This soup needs no meat and it was perfect just the way it was. Matt and I had fun cutting up all the veggies, I often catch Matt chopping as if there is a hidden camera somewhere in the kitchen, it’s almost like he is on a show when he is cooking! It’s adorable.  Serving Parmesan cheese on the finished soup was just the right touch to make this soup feel extra special and bring in the holiday cheer.

Sweating Onions, Carrots, and Celary

Winter Vegetable Soup

Adding Kale to the Winter Vegetable Soup

Simmering Winter Vegetable Soup

Finished Alton Brown Winter Vegetable Soup

Good Plan (Initiative)

For this date night we finished decking the halls. Our fireplace mantle was the last thing we needed to decorate. With Christmas music playing in the background, stinging up the lights, greenery, and ribbon we put on the finishing touches to our Christmas wonderland. Afterwards we enjoyed some hot chocolate with marshmallows and dreamt up our Christmas Advent Calendar. This took some real planning on our part. We pulled up our family/work calendar and worked out all the details of what we wanted to carry out this Christmas as a family. We are big on creating family traditions! Although it was a lot of work it was so fun and made us super excited for the Christmas Season.

Decorating for Christmas Date Night

Good Conversation (Depth)

Creating this years Advent Calendar was great for conversation. Celebrating Christmas and creating depthy and stimulating family traditions is pretty important to us and we wanted every day in December to point us back to our gracious God and the Gospel message of the Christmas season. Here is the Cazee Family Advent Calendar if you are looking for some inspiration this season!

1. Watch the Nativity Story to Kick Things Off Right!

2. Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Hot Chocolate and Popcorn

3. Buy Page CXVI’s New Advent Album

4. Find an Opportunity to Serve Within the Community

5. Snuggle and Read The Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones

6. Family Craft: Cut out Snowflakes to Decorate the House

7. Take Family Christmas Pictures

8. Attend a Tacky Christmas Sweater Party

9. Watch A Muppet Christmas Carol (Matt’s favorite all-time Christmas movie) with hot chocolate and popcorn

10. Attend our Christmas Work Party

11. Participate in a White Elephant Gift Exchange

12. Purchase a New Christmas Book for Lily

13. Visit the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis

14. Visit a Live Nativity Scene

15. Finish all Christmas Shopping

16. Have a Present Wrapping Day and Pray for Each Family Member

17. Make Homemade Ornaments

18. Make Gingerbread Houses

19. Drive Around and Look at Lights with Hot Chocolate and Cookies

20. Visit the Humane Society

21. Dress Up and in Red and Green for Dinner

22. Celebrate Christmas Eve: Make Christmas pizza, open family gift, bake cookies, and fall asleep by the tree.

23. Celebrate Christmas: Read Nativity Account from the Gospel of Luke, Make our Christmas Tradition Breakfast, Sing Carols and Open Presents

24. Celebrate Christmas with Britt’s family

25. Celebrate Christmas with Matt’s family

Family Advent Calendar