Friday, April 23, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
If you can read the print of the receipt, it says $0.00. Figured there were at least taxes to be paid but that was a wrongful assumption. It literally is $0.00.
Dinner tables are actually now sporting table cloths and doilies (thanks mom and Hildegard!), as well as nice dishes that are plated and are matching. :-) Here is one of our favorites, spaghetti bolognese. Or as Abigail calls it: "pasgetti - ooh! I love pasgetti." :-) That is probably my prettiest looking bolognese I've made. Also trying to make things healthier and added a bunch of red bell pepper. I just have to mention this and please don't think I'm weird. David bought this bell pepper for his salsa and it was the prettiest thing ever. So juicy and red. Most bell peppers these days are two-colored and none of them rich (if they are they are mushy in the back...). This one was perfect and it was admired until the very last of it was eaten. Yep, you have a weirdo for a friend or worse yet, family member. It could be contageous. It could be genetic. Surely it's genetic, right Matze???? ;-)
Hildegard, your doilies are used with much appreciation. Good German table decorations. And yes, I'm actually having candles on my table.... This is so much different than no table cloth, pot it was cooked in and everyone please serve yourself. Not that it wasn't working, but this is actually making me happier too when the dinner tables look nice. My mom used to do this for us on the weekends and we used to always enjoy it. I forgot how good it feels to be especially taken care of. Just makes your food taste better. :-)
Hospitality. This was our final lesson. The thing that struck me the most is that we actually have an obligation to give our home back to our God. Meaning, it should be used for his purposes. Therefore I am now making a conscious effort to entertain at our house. We have had family over to our house of course but never like this with just one of them being spoiled by us. Here is Russell's dinner as we made turkey for him, mashed potatoes and home-made gravy (you know David was just as happy about this meal!!). The turkey is Alton Brown's receipe from http://www.foodtv.com/. It's never failed me and is absolutely fabulous. I'd use grapeseed oil next time instead of canola. Another thing I learned from AoG (thanks Tiffany!): Grapeseed oil and coconut oil have a much higher burning point than other oils, so they are much healthier. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html
Mashed taters - yumm! Creamy yummy goodness. Russell actually had seconds on this day. If you know Russell, you know that's the biggest compliment.
Look at the napkins! That is the tuxedo fold (thanks Jenn!). Yep, I folded the napkins and the kids loved it. This is Lorena's special night with Dijon chicken breast, green beans, home-made gravy and the easiest ever potato au gratin. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/5-minute-individual-potato-gratins-recipe/index.html They are fabulous and sooooo simple. The kids loved helping make them. Can you tell that Lorena is feeling out of place not doing this herself? She wasn't even allowed to do dishes. We are cruel.
Other than lessons on table decorating and hospitality, we also got tons of fabulous receipes. Here is one of the many ones my family loved immediately. The pictures are in reverse order but below is what was leftover - NOTHING.
This is one of those dishes that are so incredibly simple, it's amazing. Sooooo good too. Mix one 6oz box of raspberry jello with 2 cups hot water. Put 2 bags of thawed frozen raspberries in it. Then put 1 quart of Breyer's vanilla ice cream in it. Help it to dissolve somewhat but leave bigger chunks (they'll be little pillows when you serve) and refridgerate for one hour. Delicious. And yes, I'm using my mom's dessert bowl. :-) Feels more regal, doesn't it?
I've been posting fast in the last few days , lots of catching up to do. Be sure to check that you saw the last few posts.
The kids just looked soooo adorable in their suit and dress from Grampy. Grandma got Abby the hat, purse, bracelet and hair clips.
Look at Nathan's face....Trouble is coming Abby's way.....
"Dear God, thank you for making me so cute and adorable...."
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
My birthday presents from the kids. They did such a great job coloring. Abby's is the left one and she always loves to color. But Nathan is the one I'm really impressed with. He usually does a few squiggles and then he's done. As you can see, he really tried hard. Veggie Tales coloring
pages in case you were wondering (www.bigideafun.com/veggietales/activities/default.htm ).
David and Nathan having loads of fun. Nathan needs that physical activity with his dad. He LOVES it when his dad plays with him. I wish I had that energy that David has with him. Maybe I should start drinking coffee....
David's black-eyed pea salsa that he made for my birthday. No, the pieces are not all exact same size, I cut a lot of them. The receipe is the one from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook.
After finding some coupon-chasing ladies on the internet, I've been thrilled to get stuff for free with coupons everywhere. This is one of my proudest outings yet. Everything you see in the picture below cost me: $0.00! That's right. After coupons and rebates, I will even be $2 in the plus! I did return the yellow lotion as their rebate was kind of wishy-washy. But after stamps and taxes paid, it literally did not pay anything (that is if the rebates work out... :-) ).
Abigail and her gazillion stuffed animals resting with daddy. How cute. Can you tell daddy is enjoying this?
Grandma came over for a playdate with the kids. Here she is in the diner with Abigail.
They even talked her into jumping on the trampoline! That woman is just a gem. If I have that energy when I'm her age, I'll be happy.
She may get lost in that box.... Can you just mentally picture the cartoon to this?
David figured out a really creative way to put up my Christmas present. I love it! Only a detailer could figure out how to put an object that can't be put in this corner in this corner.
After reading a book on dolphins, here is the matching art work by Nathan, Abigail and myself (the sky was painted by me....)
My two men mowing the lawn. Nathan was just thrilled to help his dad with this. He kept pushing his little lawn mower behind his father. Ah, these moments!
Our little girl in her big girl bed. No more railings to hold her back. Just like her brother, she will not leave her bed unless I tell her it is ok. Amazing! I got so lucky. And that is her beloved pink bear on the floor and the lamby at her foot.
Nathan thought for a moment that it sounded good to eat ketchup by the spoonful. Then he learned why none of us do that.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Well, for starters I got two days for birthday celebration instead of one. Still not quite sure how that happened. On my birthday we just had such wonderful family time together, the four of us. We even went for a romantic walk on the waterfront. The trees there are blooming and the kids got at one point showered with white little blossoms falling to the ground. Where is that camera when you need it? We even hit a Starbucks on our way where Matze and Mandy contributed to a new loaded card. :-)
Sunday, April 18, 2010
For us, it was a six week program where we got spoiled. We went to a beautiful home here in town that belongs to one of the beautiful ladies who helped out. We got to go to her breathtaking(gorgeous!) house every week. We were warmly greeted by my dear friend Margie and other mentors. We gathered around Norma's kitchen bar (all of us fit around it!) and enjoyed lovingly prepared snacks, tea, coffee, wonderful cooking lessons and each other's company. During the cooking lessons we learned much about nutrition, meal planning, meal preparation and all other sorts of helpful information for wives and moms. All the while being thoroughly entertained by the ladies who cooked. It was a blast.
After the cooking session we'd go downstairs to have a bible study led by one of the mentors. These lessons where on specific topics and scripture as outlined by the program: Kindness, loving your husband, loving your children, submission, purity and hospitality. These lessons where so important and in my opinion, should be taught to all girls, especially when they embark on the journey to start their own families. The way that God's plan is laid us for us woman in this study is just amazing. It has given me so much confidence in my day-to-day dealings. Having the mentors tie these important messages with personal tid-bids enriched them so much more. Our little group grew together so closely during six short weeks and I believe most of us have a real soft spot for each other now.
As if this wasn't enough, after the second hour we'd be called upstairs where tables had been thoughtfully decorated for us and the mentors mixed in different combinations with the students every week for an hour of lunch and coversation. These lunches were lovingly prepared by the cooking helpers who then served all of us lunches, drinks and desserts.
It was such a blessing to be able to be part of this. I soaked up every little drop of it, every last little one. Although I'm a very enthusiastic person, I don't get all that invested in people and events usually. This has changed me a little more. I've grown closer to my God, realize more of his plan for me in my life, am a better wife and mother, have some more yummy receipes and am just such a happier person, having seen what others are willing to do for me because of what God asks them to do. And along the way I got to meet some VERY special woman. I look forward to seeing them and they just put a smile on my face.
Our last get-together was a dinner for the husbands was on a weekend evening. This was David's opportunity to see what I've been up to all this time. Isn't that just a thoughtful ending to the program? David enjoyed himself as well in the company of these warm and caring people. We had good and easy conversation and he got to meet all the lovely woman I'd been telling him about. That meant a lot to me. We had a fabulous meal and they even surprised me with a birthday song, a card, balloons and a wonderful necklace that the husband of my mentor had worked on when he was still with us.
It was such an incredible six weeks and I'm just so sad it is over. Maybe David, the kids and I can move and change our names so I can enroll all over again???
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
David: "Ok, we're going to Germany next! Where are we going to go?"
Nathan as Rudolph: "Let's go to Oma's house!........I have a GPS!"
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Nathan saw his sister and as any little boy would like to do, he knocked off her pretty hat, just flicking it. He never touched her but just flicked the hat right off her head. Then Abigail did the typical girl (only 16 years to early and not on her prom night): she burst into utter tears. Not just sniffing, she was sobbing. Then Nathan realizing that he had somehow offended her tried to comfort her by playing rough with her, after all, that is what he would enjoy. She proceeded to cry louder, neither understanding the actions of the other. :-) You have to admit, if you picture it in your mind, it's pretty funny. Fortunately they have many years to learn about each other and hopefully having a brother/sister will help them be better spouses in the end. They ended up hugging each other and then going on with life as it the incident had never occurred. :-)