Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 108 - November 30, 2009

It's a girl!

Welcome to the world, sweet Lydia Katherine!

Congratulations, Karen & Neil! She's just gorgeous!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 107 - November 29, 2009

I believe in the sun even when it is not shining,
in love even when I am alone,
and in God even when he is silent.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 106 - November 28, 2009

He's a workin' man,

Opa's little helper,

And a man of many encouraging words.

"Great job painting, Apo (Opa)!"

Friday, November 27, 2009

Day 105 - November 27, 2009

Beautiful Outdoor Arrangements

I feel so very blessed to have married into such a talented family. My husband, well you all know about him. He is so creative and artistic and everyday, I am in awe of the work he does. My mother-in-law is an extremely talented florist. You can see her work in my wedding bouquet pictured in the header of my blog. She, along with Greg's cousin, Jennifer, designed and decorated our entire wedding and it was spectacular. I may be slightly biased, but it was the most gorgeous wedding I've ever been too, all thanks to them. (Remind me to share some photos of their work sometime or take a look at Jen's website:

Today, I'd like to think that a tinsy bit of their talent rubbed off on me. This morning, my mother-in-law was both kind and patient enough to teach me and my sister-in-law how to make beautiful seasonal arrangements. She stood back and let us place every single branch ourselves. "It's the only way you'll learn," she said. And learn, I did! The only thing it's missing is a gorgeous pomegranate on the left which we'll pick up this afternoon. What do you think?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 103 - November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 102 - November 24, 2009

'Tis the season for sparkle!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 101 - November 23, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner! What a wonderful and well decorated time of year!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 100 - November 22, 2009

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 98 - November 20, 2009

You an always tell how well loved a recipe is by the condition of a recipe card. The card is yellowed, the corners curl under, the edges are wrinkled, and there are traces of the ingredients here, there, and everywhere. This recipe card has been in our family for decades and as you can see, it has been very well loved.

Childhood memories came flooding back as I prepared the muffin batter this morning. As a child, I remember waking up to the sound and smell of my parents baking muffins in the kitchen on Saturday mornings. I’d rush down the stairs to see what kind of muffins were for breakfast that weekend. And each time I did this, I secretly hoped that they would be Bran Chocolate Chip! I’m not sure if it was the muffin I loved so much or the fact that I was allowed to have chocolate for breakfast. What a treat! Enjoy one of our family favourites!

Bran Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 egg

1 ¾ cups milk

1 ½ cups Nabisco 100% Bran® Cereal

½ cup firmly-packed brown sugar

cup margarine or butter, melted

1 tbsp. vinegar

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

BEAT egg in bowl with a fork. Blend in milk, cereal, sugar, margarine and vinegar; mix well.

COMBINE remaining ingredients, including chocolate chips in large bowl.

STIR cereal mixture into dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened.

SPOON batter into greased muffin cups, generously filling each to the top.

BAKE at 400ºF (200ºC) for about 20 minutes or until done.

COOL. Store in airtight container.

MAKES 12 large muffins.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 96 - November 18, 2009

I know it's "Wordless Wednesday" and it really goes without saying, but is this not the most beautiful blue-eyed boy you've ever seen?

(Click the picture to enlarge. Trust me, he's sooo worth it!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 95 - November 17, 2009

Well, all the manual labour on the first room is complete. Time to start decorating! Here's a sneak peek at the guest room/office!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 94 - November 16, 2009

Yesterday, my husband learned that there is nothing sweeter than holding a sleeping babe in your arms. It's just heavenly!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 93 - November 15, 2009

Matthew 19:14

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 92 - November 14, 2009

I beautiful day for a hot air balloon ride!

Unfortunately, we were stuck on land painting beadboard, trim, and closet doors. However, with 5 sets of hands hard at work all day, we are getting very close to finishing room number one! Hooray!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 91 - November 13, 2009

Let me be the first to admit how lame this blog has been lately. Since we arrived home, there has been family to see, friends to catch up with, nephews to snuggle, and renovations to be done, leaving very little quiet time for blogging. I am not complaining. I love being home and being busy for the first time in about 10 months is wonderful. I love visiting with loved ones and enjoying family meals, oh and don’t even get me started on how much I love home renovation projects! So, you will need to forgive me for my lack of interesting and amusing posts. Bear with me in the next few months. I am sure there will be plenty of excitement to come when we move back to Cali and begin a Disney adventure!

For today, enjoy a delicious and oh-so-simple recipe for Chewy Chocolate Fudge Cookies. All you need is 4 simple ingredients that the majority of you will already have on hand.

Chewy Chocolate Fudge Cookies

1 pkg. Devil’s Food Cake Mix

1/2 cup vegetable oil (The dough is quite greasy so you could probably cut that down to 1/4 - 1/3 of a cup.)

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chips

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 90 - November 12, 2009

Renovations are in full swing! Today marked day one of painting. Stay tuned for some impressive (...I hope) before and after pictures and maybe a few DIY projects in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 89 - November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 88 - November 10, 2009

4 smiling faces,
3 hat-less heads,
2 sweet nephews,
1 adorable family!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 87 - November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner "Re-packaged"

This past weekend, we celebrated a very late Canadian Thanksgiving with our families. While my mother-in-law cooked a 30 lb bird along with all the fixings, I tried my hand at my first ever homemade pumpkin pie. The meal was a great success, and of course, there were loads of leftovers. We have been eating turkey leftovers every meal since and I must say, I'm getting a little sick of the same old plate of turkey. This got me thinking about how I could "re-purpose" the turkey dinner in a creative way. I remembered my mother-in-law saying she had a package of phyllo pastry that she had no clue what to do with and was ready to throw out. So, off I marched to the kitchen to create "Leftover Turkey & Fixin' Phyllo Packets."

They are quite simple to make if you don't count the whole phyllo dough layering. (Admission: I have never actually used phyllo pastry before so who knows if I did it correctly. I figured, how wrong can you go with dough?)

Mix together the turkey and fixin's (ie. stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, beans, gravy) in a large bowl.

Cut the stack of phyllo dough in half both directions, creating four stacks of rectangles. Start by brushing one rectangle with melted butter. Then cover the sheet with another and repeat this process with two additional sheets (or as many as you'd like...remember, I really have no clue what I'm doing!). Place a large scoop of the leftover mixture to the center and fold over edges to seal in a rectangle shape. Repeat this process until you have used up all of your leftover mixture.

Place the packets on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-17 minutes, or until flaky and golden brown.

Serve with cranberry sauce and enjoy a twist on a traditional turkey dinner!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Day 86 - November 8, 2009

Psalm 119:105

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Day 84 - November 6, 2009

A belated birthday celebration with family was the perfect end to a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Day 83 - November 5, 2009

Today, I felt like a Canadian housewife again and loved it! Doing laundry in machines that don't require quarters and making Black Bean & Corn Salsa Stuffed Peppers for dinner in a fully equipt kitchen was just glorious! Can you tell I'm happy to be home?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Day 81 & 82 - November 3 & 4, 2009

Home at last!

We arrived home late last night. Okay, I admit, it wasn't so late but to two weary travelers it sure felt like it. Yes, I am using that as my excuse for not posting. I have considered putting this blog on hiatus for the next few months while we are back in Canada so that I can focus on the most important thing in my But, tonight, while enjoying a delicious family meal, I mentioned the idea of putting my blogging on hold and two "NO's" were flung across the table at me. So, it looks like I'll be posting as often as I can, although, I must warn you that the majority of the pictures and stories in the next two months will likely include my yummy nephews! I just can't get enough of those sweet cheeks!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 80 - November 2, 2009

Road trip update:

We left Amarillo just after 8am and started making our trek North-East. We made it all the way to Troy, Illinois. We're exhausted, but so glad we're only 1 day away from home!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 79 - November 1, 2009

1 John 4:19

We love because he first loved us.

Road trip update:

We're in Texas! We drove from Needles, California (which is on the border of Arizona, not New Mexico which I posted last night in my utter exhaustion) all the way to Amarillo, Texas. That's over 12 and a half hours of driving. We're feeling surprisingly great but are looking forward to some much needed sleep. We may be home sooner than we initially anticipated and that feels amazing! Okay, bed time. Good night, all!