Sunday, September 29, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Ya'll - you need to put this one on your menu plan for next week!  I took this recipe from how sweet it is, found it more healthy here, and used the mac and cheese recipe from here...basically awesome.

Buffalo Chicken Pasta
5 cups (12 oz) whole wheat pasta
6 cups whole milk
1.5 ish cups of grated cheese (we used cheddar)
2 chicken breasts (boneless/skinless), cooked and cut into chunks
1/3 cup buffalo wing sauce
1/3 cup bread crumbs (i.e. toast put into the food processor or clean coffee grinder)
Garnish: fresh cilantro (quite a bit), 4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, and some extra buffalo wing sauce (we just used regular bbq sauce)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F/175C (the original said 375F/190C).

Mix pasta, milk and salt in a large sauce pan.  Cook over medium-high heat STIRRING ALMOST CONSTANTLY until the pasta is tender (10-15 minutes).  Remove from heat.  Add cheese and stir until melted. (this is how we make mac and cheese from the heavenly homemaker mac and cheese recipe).  At this time, I also stirred in the chunks of chicken and buffalo wing sauce.

Pour it all into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Top with bread crumbs and a little bit of cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  After you take the pan out of the oven, top with cilantro and the gorgonzola cheese.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dispelling Entitlement

Sometimes when I go running, I have epiphanies.  This is the latest epiphany I had.

People feel entitled.  They feel as though they deserve __________.  Case in point, the middle one of the kiddos that I nanny, feels that he deserves to have someone play with him.  When there is no one to play, he becomes angry.  He can list many reasons that he deserves this right.

I feel entitled to decent weather.  When it snows in April and May, I get angry (and simmer on the inside).  I deserve some decent weather to exercise and drive in. {Interesting sidenote: according to merrian-webster.com, the first use of the word entitlement was in 1942.}

So as I ran, I pondered, "What dispels entitlement?  How can I go from feeling entitled to joy?"

In middle school and high school Sunday School (which Ian and I lead), our teens are currently studying Philippians.  There are four themes to Philippians: Joy in Suffering, Joy in Serving, Joy in Knowing Jesus, and Joy in Contentment.  We have talked a lot about the difference between joy and happiness.  Happiness is a temporary emotion.  Joy is an attitude of the heart (and therefore joy is a choice).

One of the best ways I have learned to cultivate joy in my life is thankfulness.  Even if our circumstances does not change, our perspective can.  The grass is greenest where you water it.

So my running epiphany last week was this: Thankfulness dispels entitlement.  I am not sure if this is 100% true, but it helps me.  I used to have a hard time being thankful.  I would think of some poor kid in Africa (sorry SAffers) that was starving in the blazing hot sun and try to well up some form of gratitude.  In the back of my mind, I would be thinking, "what is that kid thankful for?"

Then God hit me in the head.  Sure, I can be thankful for material possessions and different circumstances in my life, but I can always be thankful for who God is and what God has done.  Always.

The next time it snows in June (that does not really happen in Colorado...right?), I have a choice.  I can throw an internal tantrum or I can choose to be thankful that God is good.  Thankful that God is sovereign.  Thankful that God is holy.  Thankful that God redeems.  In the midst of inconvience (to me), God has a plan that He is working out.  God is still saving sinners.

Less of me...More of Him.



Let's chat - what are your thoughts?  Sometimes my running epiphanies have holes in them, that I do not see.  What can you be thankful for despite circumstances?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Happy 3rd Anniversary! {YAY!}

Happy Anniversary to us.  In case you were not at the wedding, (we missed you!  Even if we did not know at the time we got married, our future selves would have invited you!) here is some of the Scripture that was read:


(did you read it?  Go back and read it - it is Truth) and here is a picture:



and here is another little graphic I made to sum up the whole three years of marriage thus far (because I can clearly do that in one little graphic, especially a graphic I made in under an hour)


One of the things that I love most about Ian (and there are a lot) is his practical theology.  What Ian believes to be true about God and Life, he lives.  Part of his practical theology includes calling me out when I say one thing and do another (and that has happened plenty of times in the last three years).

Ian's theology is not some thought that gives him warm and fuzzy feelings and he learned as a child.  He thinks deeply about life and the world we live in.  Ian makes choices not based on ease of carrying out his actions, but what is best.  Ian does not leave people where they are.  He pushes them towards Truth.  (He usually tries to be gentle at this, but there are times he drags me kicking and screaming to Jesus).

The best part of Ian's theology is unconditional love and grace.  I am pretty sure I did not even understand grace when we got married.  He has dumped it on me in the bucket loads over the years.  And yet, when it is my turn to give grace to Ian, it rarely happens.  He does not give up on me.  He continues to show me grace.  Basically, Ian rocks.

And he rubs my feet at night and buys me ice cream.  It does not get better than that. 


To God be the Glory!  He is the reason that we have made it thus far and He is reason that we will continue onward.


For your continued reading pleasure:
Two Year Anniversary (it is a bunch of pictures)
One Year Anniversary (that time we went to Busan and saw sand castles)

Friday, May 10, 2013

That one time I posted a bunch of pictures

So, I am a bit behind in the blogging world :)  Let's catch up shall we?

It snowed, in the last week of April.  And no one felt a need to plow the streets.

I take pictures while driving, but only if I am at a stoplight.
I drove about  20 mph (32 kph) to work that day

It snowed.  IN MAY. (#comeonspring) The not fun part (besides wanting a Happy May Day) was that the ground was warm enough that the running trail was a complete muddy mess - ugh.  At least it was pretty.

May 1st in Colorado
I have established a new rule.  If it snows, I can listen to Christmas music.  It makes for a much less grumpier existence.
Then I flew to the Midwest to visit family.  This is what greeted me on my run. Praise the Lord for spring in the Midwest.



I ran the Thank Dank 5k while I was visiting the Midwest.  This is a very special race and I am so glad I was able to participate.  {Sidenote: Seeing famers cry breaks my heart!  They say time heals, I don't know if that is necessarily true.  When you loose someone, there is still grief, even years later}.  It has been a long time since I ran a 5k on grass/mud/gravel/anything that is not concrete.

the traditional pre-race photo (note how clean my shoes were)

It was a hometown race, so I came in as the second female overall and won my gender/age group.  My brother placed in his age/gender group too. And my sister-in-law lead the fun walk.  Such a great day!

Post race photo.  My brother and his sweet wifey, and P.S.
And then it was time to head back.  I tried to have my mom take a picture in the airport.

One is me talking to my mom, trying to explain what button to push, and the other is a more posed...
 Then I flew home and I was greeted my favorite person in the world! {sigh - it was so good to come home}  He bought me flowers.


Have I mentioned that I LOVE the kiddos I nanny, oh goodness - it is a bit ridiculous how much I can gush over them.  I was taking a picture to text to Ian.  The Wee One said she wanted to be in it.  This is what we ended up with. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week 17

Hi friends!  How was your week?  Ours was fantastic!

For a couple of weeks, Ian has suggested that he takes all the cooking on for an entire week.  Well, this was the week!  I told him that he had to stick to budget and the meals had to be semi-nutritious.  We had a feast this week.  Ian is definitely the better cook of the two of us.  And he stayed on budget (maybe?)  I don't care, the food was fab!
He made:
  • Mini-Pizzas (on English Muffins)
  • Chicken and Spinach Calzones
  • Cinnamon Woes
  • Chicken Cheesy Pepperoni Panini and Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Strawberry Pancakes, Yummy Scrambled Eggs, and Company Coffeecake
  • Breakfast Sandwiches (english muffins + eggs + candian bacon)
  • He took me out to eat here!
  • Leftovers
  • Quesadillas
  • Pasta + Chicken + Veggies + Cream Sauce of loveliness
When you can not find a recipe on the internet, just take a picture of the cookbook :)

The rule in our household is: Whoever cooks does not have to clean up.  So I have been on clean up all week. 

In other news, it snowed here this week.  We got snow on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  And since we live in Colorado, when it rains it pours, when it snows, it blizzards.  Ironically enough, Ian mowed yesterday :)  Oh Colorado and your crazy bi-polar weather!


I am a safe driver...I only take pictures while I am at stoplights.
What I've been enjoying: Ian cooking!  It is so nice to come home from work and relax for a bit.
What I've been reading: Naming Infinity - I checked this out at the library - so, so interesting!
What I've been running: dreadmill, dreadmill, and more dreadmill with the yucky weather this week
What I've been humming: The Doxology and Great is the Lord (by Michael W. Smith)(from like 1982)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Right now...

Just to clarify, this is not our backyard
I am snuggled in at home, while Ian is at his evening class.  I am working on my cover letter and sipping on some {decaf} coffee.  Pandora is playing and a candle is flickering. Got my slippers on and feeling content. 

Snowy times call for comfy measures

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week 16 - some R & R

Hi friends, I am a little late on this update, but the beauty of the internet is that you can reverse time on your posts :)

Last week was not too eventful around here.  I spent the week laying on the couch recovering from my lovely illness.  Some exciting things that did happen:
  • It snowed.  It was 65 degrees here on Monday and snowed here on Tuesday.  Oh Colorado, you are a tricky one.
  • We had Missions Weekend at church.  We learned about Muslims, visited a mosque, and ate some Middle Eastern Cuisine.  
  • In preparation for the international potluck following Sunday's church service, we headed to H Mart to stock up on Korean food.  We currently have kimchi in the fridge!  My heart is happy.
Even in America, Korean marts have a whole row of Ramen :)
 What I've been making: I made Two Timin' Pasta, last week, but forgot to share.  This is delicious (but loaded with calories).  The only change I made to the recipe was using homemade Alfredo sauce.  And I only made 1/2 of the recipe, since there is just two of us.
What I've been enjoying: watching lots of YouTube videos whilst laying on the couch
What I've been running: not so much, I got shaky legs just walking around the apartment
What I've been thankful for: We stocked up at Costco right before I got sick, and it has been a life-saver!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Week 15 - it was going well until I got sick :(

Hi friends, another week has past.  Here are some highlights from our week include:
  • I discovered that a nearby coffee shop has a Cinnamon Roll Latte.  Praise the Lord!
  • We got some good chores done this week including:
    • An Emission Test done on the car.  It is a required test before you can register your car in Colorado.
    • We got our Colorado License Plate (and learned the hard way that you really should get this done within the first 90 days of moving to Colorado, even if your car is legally registered in IL...)  The Colorado DMV got a nice donation from us this week :)
    • We got a Costco card!  I think I will always associate Costco with Korea, but American Costco has some good deals too.  
    • I did our taxes and mailed them in.  (It pretty much amounted to me putting zeroes in a lot of spaces, since all the money we earned in Korea was tax-free).
  • We finally got some spring weather this week!  It rained and the grass started to green up. 
  • For a new recipe, we tried this Apple Tortilla Dessert out.
  • We ate at Chiptole for lunch this week...probably not a highlight for some people, but I like the small joys of life.
And then Saturday happened.  Saturday started off as a normal day, but turned into quite the adventure.  I don't remember what we did Saturday morning, probably slept in, ate breakfast, and then we picked up trash around the church.  Ian went to help one of his friends move.  I headed out for my long run.  It was a glorious day to run 13 miles.  I came home to discover that I had locked myself out of our apartment.   :(    I called my sister-in-law.  She came to the rescue!  She let me shower at their place and borrow some clothes.  I had to babysit that evening, so she even dropped me off for that.

Shortly after arriving at babysitting, I started feeling queasy.  I am not a thrower-uper.  I hold it down for as long as I possibly can.  But it was not to be.  I threw up.  And felt better.  I thought that would be the end of it (oh the irony!).  An hour later, I upchucked, then again 20 minutes later, then again and again.  Thankfully I have an amazing husband who came and helped me out with the kiddos, so I could lay on the bathroom floor and empty my stomach every 20 minutes.

When the parents finally got home, my knight-in-shining armor whisked me home in our chariot and I puked into a garbage bag on the way there.  We got home and I ended up sleeping on the floor of the bathroom so I could continue to vomit every 30 minutes throughout the night.  I think we each got about 2 hours of sleep.  Around 6:30 in the morning, it got even better.  I started having diarrhea.  And then the last straw, I was throwing up and having diarrhea at the same time.  I threw in the towel and Ian took me to the ER.


I don't remember a whole lot other than I was dry heaving and they were trying to start my IV at the same time.  And I think I told the nurse that she "spoke English very well".  Being sick in America is way better than being sick in Korea.  I would have survived in Korea, but it was convenient to speak English and be understood.  Ian was quite the trooper, he stuck with me the whole time and was so helpful.  We were in the ER for about 5 hours.  They gave me 3 bags of liquid (I totally could have taken another bag or two, but the nurse, doctor, and Ian said it was time to go home).  They also gave me some anti-nausea, Benadryl, and some else I can't remember via the IV.  The nurse told us that five other people had come in that morning with the same thing.  (And I am not prego, in case you are wondering...I have the stick in the arm, remember?)

"I just assumed there was an actual use for the cup of ice chips they gave me."  Anyone else a lover of Gilmore Girls?

Gatorade mixed with Ginger Ale is rocking my world right now.  It seems quite pathetic to me that a few days ago I ran for 2 hours and today I get shaky legs whilst brushing my teeth.  Oh well, all in good time.  If I had a desk job, I would be back at it tomorrow, but running after 3 kids take a lot of energy...so I will probably stay on the couch and focus on getting something more substantial than a Popsicle down.

That was the excitement of our week...how about yours?

This is the Bambi Wall...it was in my room in the ER.  It will be engraved in my memory for years to come.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Week 14 - Spring Break!

Hi friends!  Hoppy Easter!
I am a rebel ya'll, this is the second year in a row that I have skipped church on Easter.  Last year it was because I was trying to run a marathon.  This year it was because I was skiing with friends.



But before I get ahead of myself, highlights of the week:
  • The kiddos that I nanny for were on Spring Break this week.  We had a blast!  Can't wait for summer to roll around so I can hang out with all three more often.  I brought everyone over to our apartment and we played hide-n-seek.  It was too much fun.  There are three kiddos that now have a Mr. Ian wrapped our their little fingers.  Mr. Ian showed each one how to write his or her name in Greek.
  • Mr. Ian and Miss Alissa took all three kiddos out for lunch.  When going out to lunch with kids, two adults to three kids is a good ratio I have learned.  Much better than one adult to three kids.
  • I got a library card this week.  Bad new bears ya'll.  I stayed in bed until noon one day this week reading.  Some self-control needs to be applied.
  • One of my good, good friends from college flew in on Friday.  We went running together (!!).  She is a rockstar and helped us clean the church on Saturday.  I was her caddy when we went disc golfing.  We ate a lot of good food together.  We went skiing together.  It was a good weekend!
  • For the record, skiing is not quite like riding a bike.  It took me a couple of hours to remember what I was doing.  But it is a lot more fun to ski in Colorado than in Korea!  Remember to bring some sunscreen with you if you go skiing on a cloudless day (just sayin').
  • Oh yeah, if you are ever in Breckenridge, check out this place - it is delicious!

Yogurt land + Friend = Awesome

What I've been making: Greek Style Supper was our new recipe for the week, it was good!
What I've been enjoying: Having a friend in the same town as me for a few days!
What I've been reading: Lori Wick will always be my favorite author.  You can make fun of me, it is okay. 
What I've been running: I did 1,000m repeats on the dreadmill, thought I was going to die.
What I've been listening to: Sara Groves
What I've been smelling: pine trees whilst skiing!
What I've been humming:  Up from the Grave He Arose!
What I've been buying:
I get to buy an emission test for the car.  It is required before we can get our Colorado license plates.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week 13 - Spring is Coming...maybe?

We are snug as a bug in a rug this weekend.  We got about 8 inches of snow.  Except for going out to shovel, we have been sticking close to home and enjoying a lazy weekend.

When you live in a basement apartment,  your pictures of the snow outside your window are pretty special.

Here are some highlights from the week:
  • I took the Wee One that I nanny to tumbling this week.  We had a blast!  She loves to get out of the house and go on adventures (that is what I term leaving the house with her in tow).  Her brother, on the other hand, loves, loves, loves to stay home and hates to leave the house.  I was quite proud that I got some amount of breakfast into everyone, the older ones to school on time, and the little one and I made it tumbling on time (dare I say  a few minutes early) all by 9:15am.  Glad I do not have to do that every day though.
  • It snowed.  Like 8 inches.  Have I mentioned that Ian and I are the snow removal team for our church.  Ya'll, it is good for me.
  • I ran a 12 mile long run this week.  Wootwoot!  It has been awhile since I have done 12.
  • I wrote a long post on menu-planning.  It will rock your socks or your world.



What I've been enjoying: the Wee One recently had a birthday, she got some sweet art supplies.  Yes, I enjoy crafting at the same level as a 3 year old.
What I've been wearing: I impulsively got a new "spring" T-shirt for 5 buckaroos at Target
What I've been running: I ran a 800 repeat workout this week and have been increasing my mileage
What I've been buying: I bought plane tickets this week!  Yay!  

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A really long post on my menu planning ephipanies

I have been working on my menu planning system the last few months.  I think I finally have it figured out.  I, personally, do not like the "weekly meal plan".  It worked okay for us in Korea, but I sometimes find a new recipe that I want to make next week, or I want to reschedule a yummy meal we just ate.  This is going to shatter the earth, ya'll.  I print a calendar (really, it is 5week x 7 days graph that looks like a calendar) off each month.

So mind-blowing, I took a picture of March's Menu
It hangs on the side of the fridge - it rocks my world.  Once a week, I take it down and menu plan on it.  Then I hang it back up.  The main thing that I love about this system is that at the end of 2013, I will have 12 blessed sheets of paper that list ALL the meals we have eaten.  12, not 52.  Praise the Lord!

Anywho, I have now been doing this for 3 months or so.  I collected the good meals we have eaten in the last 3 months and categorized them on a piece of paper.  I have listed the "special ingredients" that I need to make each dish (things you would not find in my cupboards on a regular basis).
I like this piece of paper for several reasons.
  1. If I want to make Egg, Cheese, and Sausage Bake, then I know I need parsley.  I also see that I use parsley in Shrimp Salad - perfect!  Let's eat those within a week of each other and not let the fresh parsley go bad in the back of the fridge.
  2. If I need to pull together a meal quickly, I can survey my fridge and cupboards, see what I have, and refer to the piece of paper to see what I can make with ingredients on hand.
  3. It includes pretty colors.  I like pretty colors.
  4. When I am trying to menu plan for a week, and my brain is stuck, I can whip out this piece of paper and see what looks good, or what meal make sense to make for this week (see #1)
  5. While menu planning, I can check the store ads online and try to make frugal meals with what is on sale...I have not tried this yet, but it seems like a good idea in my brain. 
My plan is to update this every 3-6 months with new recipes we have tried and liked.  My goal is to have chicken (or beef, or eggs etc) take up an entire page or half a page someday.  Then I will be menu planning queen!  And I would like the day of entire page of chicken be in the next 5 years (that is before we have kiddos and our life gets crazy.  Having kids = craziness.  I do learn things whilst nannying ya'll...sometimes craziness = fun and sometimes craziness = not having time to search the internet and cookbooks for lots of fun new recipes because Someone wants a sippy cup full of milk and Someone Else wants to know how cereal is made, Someone else is practicing the piano with much gusto, and the phone is ringing).

I think the best thing about this is that I know it works for me.  I have read a lot of blog posts about how meal planning works for other people.  But I have never read a blog post that clicked for me, "Like that would totally work for me!".  This (so far) has worked.  Hallelujah!

I am working on getting this into a google doc so ya'll can access it.  It is slow going because google docs does not like me.  I will link it when I have it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Week 12 - Happy Birthday!

It was Birthday week around here!

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law Brandy, my dog niece Penny Su, the Wee One that I nanny (she turned 3...maybe that means she is done with the terrible twos?), my brother-in-law Cary, Coach P, and my Aunt Wanda....

And of course my amazing awesome handsome husband - Ian! Happy Birthday, my love!


How is it possible that some many have birthdays within just one week!?!

We had a great time celebrating everyone birthday's this week.  I made Chocolate Guinness Stout Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting (I skipped the ganache filling).  I did add in a little bit extra flour and went scant on the baking soda to account for the altitude - they turned out great and delicious!  Note: If you do not like alcohol, I would say make the cupcakes, but ditch the frosting.  The cupcakes were amazing!  They were so moist and good.  I could not taste the Guinness in them at all.  (If you divide 1 cup amongst 28 cupcakes, you aren't getting too much...)


Moving on from cupcakes...I just asked Ian what the best part of his birthday celebration was.  He said, "Oh, the going out to eat".  We headed to Pho 95, a Vietnamese restaurant.  I may or may not have brought some sam jang in my purse.

Handsome Birthday Boy

In the other news, I won a giveaway this week!  Thanks Gabi for hosting such a great giveaway!  I need to start brainstorming a project or two with ribbons now.  Any ideas?

And last, but not least, the Middle One that I nanny made a pretty cool map this week:

The horses got to go on a treasure hunt

 
What I've been making: egg bake (yum-o!), steaks in the cooler, waffles and bacon, cheesy beef and rice
What I've been enjoying: On Friday it was 75 here, I went running and barely got sweaty!  I love in high desert climate!
What I've been reading: Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton
What I've been wearing: my awesome Math Toms (thanks Theresa!)
What I've been running: 11 miles long run this week!
What I've been listening to: Old School Michael W. Smith, Sandi Patty, and Amy Grant
What I've been buying:
birthday presents, birthday cards, birthday everything!

New Recipes Tried in February

I like to talk about food.  Here are some new recipes that I tried in February and what we thought of them.


Enchilada Chicken Pasta - Yum-o!  Ian thinks that this recipe could be spicier (and I agree).
 
Broccoli Chicken Supreme - I got this recipe from a friend.  It was good.  If you make it, follow the recipe...improvising may have it turn out not so good (not that I would know from experience).  It still disappeared pretty quick around here.

Spinach and Shrimp Pasta - Oh my goodness - You need to go make this right now.  I would say that if you don't like your food to have a kick, you might want to scale back the paprika and red pepper flakes.  This will be added to the regular dinner rotation at our house.

Tortilla Pizza - my amazing husband made up this recipe. You take a tortilla, spread some pizza sauce on it.  Top with whatever blows your skirt up.  Pop it in the oven till it is warm and the cheese is melted.  A quick, delicious lunch to make for your wife when she has been hit by sickness.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Week 10

I am writing this post quite awhile AFTER week 10 happened in real life....I do not remember if anything exciting happened during this week of my life.  However I did take this picture:


So ready for spring!
It snowed twice within week 10, yet it still managed to make it to 60 degrees by Saturday!

In other excitement, we celebrated our 1,000th day of marriage this week! Wootwoot!


Not too often that I run through snow in shorts!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week 9

Week 9 can be summed up quite simply:

The plague hit our house and we were sick.

And we got 9 or 10 inches of snow.  In one day.  Which was a Sunday.  And Ian and I are the "snow removal" team at church.  Lord have mercy!

Being sick in America is infinitely better than being sick in Korea.  American over-the-counter medicine works better than Korean prescriptions.  Praise the Lord!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week 7 + 8

Hi friends!  I am trying to think of interesting things that have happened recently.

Um, coming up blank. 

So here are the uninteresting details of life lately

  • Our car has new oil and new tires.  And soon she will have a new battery.  The car dealership where all of this newness takes place has the sweetest coffee maker ever.  I am pretty sure if it were in my home, I would gain 100 lbs very quickly from drinking caffe mochas all the time.
  • Have I ever mentioned that I adore the kiddos that I nanny?  Even when the wee one is potty training and there is poop in the pants, I still love these kids.  9 months ago, I would have said that I like infants and teens but not anyone in between (unless he or she is a Korean elementary school child).  It is so great to have some little people to love on.  All three of them happen to think that Miss Alissa is pretty cool :)
  • We attended Aida with the Youth Group from church on Friday night.  It was good.  Definitely written by Elton John and Tim Rice.  If I had small children, I would not take them to see it.  The students that performed were so talented!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week 6 - Trip to the Midwesty

Hi friends!  I took a little trip to the Midwest last week!  Some of our really good friends from Korea (they are Americans) came back for a visit.  And I found cheap plane tickets - bam!  I was there!

I found a running trail!  I stayed near a town (with a population of 870).  And I found a running trail!  What a glorious run it was - harvested cornfields, peace and quiet, rural Midwestness.


I saw my friends (!!!!!)  and their sweet, sweet baby.  It was such a fun few days together.  I am so glad I got to see them!

Can you tell this is a "running out the door to drop Alissa off at the airport - oh wait, we need to take a picture!" picture?
We sang Shout to the Lord in church on Sunday...I kept thinking of this and giggling to myself throughout the song:


Monday, February 4, 2013

Week 5

Highlights from this week:

Is there anything more beautiful {or tempting} than a field of untouched snow?

  • It snowed!  I think we got 3ish inches.  Some of the places in the mountains got over 2 feet!  Not surprising that the overall snowpack for the state of Colorado increased by 17 percent this week.  The lovely thing about living where we live is that today's high is in the 50s!
  • Ian started his second semester of Seminary this week!  Wootwoot!  
  • We went to the SuperBowl Party...with the youth group at church.  God is laughing at me right now.   
  • Best quote of the week (from G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy):
[Children] always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that he has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. 

What I've been making: Shrimp Spinach Pasta, Baked Three Cheese Chicken Pasta, Meatloaf w/ Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Greek Pizza
What I've been enjoying:  Pumpkin Cinnamon Woes and Coffee (I think Ian made 5 pans of Cinnamon Woes this week...we did not keep all of them)
What I've been reading: Ways to Save $100 Per Year
What I've been wearing: I found a sweatshirt at J. Crew's Factory this past fall.  I wear it all.the.time.  It is so comfy!

What is more fun than playing with kiddos in the snow?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week 4 (Grapefruit Cupcake Recipe)

Highlights from our week:
  • It was my momma's birthday this past week.  Happy Birthday Binks!
  • We had a fun game night with another Seminary couple.  I won a game that I had never played before.  I'm pretty competitive and I like winning.  We ate a grapefruit cake with them.
  • The eating of aforementioned cake sent my lovely husband on a mission.  Within 24 hours of eating the grapefruit cake, we were making grapefruit cupcakes with a grapefruit infused cream cheese frosting and garnished with fresh raspberries.  Yes, I have watched Cupcake Wars one too many times. Scroll down for the recipe.
  • Ian finished his J-term class!  Wootwoot!  He did really well in the class!  Second semester starts Monday.  
  • We (unexpectedly) got to see a friend from IL this weekend!  Thanks for hanging out with us Ben!  
  • I am throwing around the idea of running a half marathon in mid-May.  I would need to start training in the near future (The half is 16 weeks from today).  There is also a 10 miler.  It seems like a unique race, so maybe I will do it as part of half marathon training for a different half.  

What I've been making:
Jonah 2:8 - now hanging in our pantry

What I've been running: Hills, hills, and more hills. 
What I've been listening to: Mars Hills' Esther series
What I've been enjoying: the longer sunlight hours.  It was 5:30pm the other night and it was not completely dark out!  Wootwoot!
What I've been smelling: sweet-scented candles (and grapefruit cupcakes) and it is in plan to make some pumpkin cinnamon woes this afternoon.
What I've been humming:

 

Are you still with me?  Here is the recipe. Knock yourself out.


Grapefruit Cupcakes (makes 30ish cupcakes)

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar (I used 1.5 cups and they were still delicious)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour (we used regular flour and it turned out just fine)
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon grated grapefruit peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
FROSTING:
  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 (scant) cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 (scant) tablespoon grated grapefruit peel
  • Optional: a splash of vanilla extract
  • 30-60 fresh red raspberries
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cupcake tins or grease them whichever floats your boat.  

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in peel and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with grapefruit juice. Beat just until combined. Stir in milk. 

Fill prepared muffin cups so they are about 1/2 full. Bake, rotating pans once, until cupcakes are just golden brown and spring back to the touch.  This took about 14 minutes, but we live 5,387 feet above sea level.  Basically when a toothpick goes in and comes out clean, you are good to go.  Repeat with any remaining batter. Let cool completely.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the grapefruit juice and peel.  If you want to add vanilla extract, beat that in too.  Frost your cupcakes.  Top with a raspberry or two.  Enjoy!

Sources: Cake - Taste of Home   Frosting - Food Network

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week 3 (and one of the best quotes I have heard in awhile)

Hi!  I am still finding my rhythm with my New's Years Resolution of blogging once a week.  Exciting moments from our third week of 2013.
  • I bought honey wheat bread (for the Chicken Salad Sandwiches) from Panera.  So good!  I don't know if I will ever be able to go back grocery store bread.  If you buy it and they give the option of slicing it thick or thin.  Pick thick!
  • The Wee One that I nanny for (she will be 3 in March) comes up with some great quotes sometimes.  For example, this week, while strolling through Target in her purple princess puffy fufu dress (and light up Disney Princess snow boots), she had a fantastic quote.  We were walking past the CD sampler section (you know the aisle that plays the music).  There was some classical/elevator music playing.  She said, "Dat sounds like Cheesuz!"  (That sounds like Jesus).  I asked her what Jesus sounds like.  She told me, "Pweety"  (pretty).  Then launched into her own unique rendition of  "Cheesuz Lobes Me" mixed with "Twinkle, Twinkle, Wittle Star".   Pre-cious!
  • We saw a hawk this week.  
  •  I made Alfredo Sauce for the first time in my life this week (recipe).  It is not hard at all!  I will say that the first time the sauce was GREAT, but once we refrigerated it, we had a hard time reheating it without it separating.  My next idea is to ask My Amazing Husband to make homemade pizza and see how chicken alfredo pizza turns out.  Basically the story of my life is, "mmmm this taste great!  Can I make it into a pizza somehow?"  I just googled it - Chicken alfredo pizza DOES exist.  
  • I am tired of moving.  I can not wait to be done.  I keep thinking we are almost done, and then I realize we have 20394820385 more carloads of stuff.  I feel like we have been moving since last June.
  • We attended a seminar this weekend at church.  It was very informative!  I did not realize that there are places in America less than 1% Christian populations - mind-blowing!
  • Ian only has 4 more days of Old Testament J-term to go!  Wootwoot!
This was sitting super-close to our new apartment - crazy!

What I've been making: Chicken + Alfredo Sauce + Pasta, Meatballs, Chicken + Feta + Pecan + Craisins + Spinach, Chicken Salad Sandwich (We used my friend's Sara's recipe, but toasted a piece of bread, put on some Chicken Salad, topped it with a slice of cheese and broiled it.), Lasagna
What I've been reading: Esther and Ephesians 
What I've been wearing: T-shirst - who wears t-shirts in January!?!?!
What I've been enjoying: getting to know more people in church family
What I've been buying: we bought a microwave cart for the new apartment this week - best.choice.ever.  It makes us feel like we have a lot more counter space.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week 2

Some highlights from the last week:

My mom gave us this amaryllis at Thanksgiving time...It actually bloomed.

  • Playing tennis with my sister-in-law.  Oh my goodness gracious!  We laughed so much.   I think the "workout" was running after the ball more than actually playing.  There is a reason that I am a runner and not a tennis player. 
  • We tried a new recipe this week {30-minute Buffalo Chicken French Bread} and it was great! It has been added to our rotation of meals.  Mom, if you try this, it might be a bit spicy for your tastes.
  • I got to Skype with some dear friends from college!  It was so much fun to talk to all of them and catch up.
  • Ian survived his first week of Old Testament.  Only 2 more weeks to go!
  • I fixed our printer.  Don't ask me how.  Sidenote: if you are ever on the phone with a person in the Philippines and she says, "I as in Idaho, C as in Cedar...", she does not mean C, she is actually saying P as in Peter.
  • I finally decided what my word will be for 2013.  Emmanuel :: God with US.


What I've been making: Nutella French Toast (Ian made it), Thai Chicken Pasta (actually Ian made this too), I did make the 30 minute buffalo chicken french bread mentioned above :), Grilled {Pepper-jack} Cheese and Tomato Soup, and BBQ Chicken in the crockpot
What I've been reading: I finished High Call, High Privilege  (by Gail MacDonald) this week.
What I've been wearing: Comfy jeans, hoodies, and wool socks
What I've been enjoying: It has been COLD here the last few days - perfect weather for snuggling up with blankets on the couch.  (I have not been enjoying the cold and snow while running, but once I have had a hot shower, I'm back to loving winter.)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Week 1


Okie-dokie, I made a New Year's Resolution to blog once a week (and to run my fastest half-marathon in 2013...get it? fastest 13 miler in 2013)

So here is a recap of our week (or at least what I can remember):

  • We had family in town at the beginning of the week!  Yay!  We took them out to Korean - yum-o!  It was so fun to play Apples to Apples with these guys!
  • I stayed up until about 9:17pm on New Year's Eve.  Yes, I am 79 years old on the inside.
  • I am finishing up my 2 weeks off from running.  Goodness - I can't wait to jump on that treadmill tomorrow morning.
  • Ian starts an intense 3 week Old Testament class tomorrow, so I tried to soak up all the "my husband is not studying" time I could this week!  
  • I was introduced to the following youtube video this week.  I cried because I was laughing so hard.


What I'm making: BBQ Chicken, Omelets, Sloppy Joes, Chili, French Toast
What I'm buying: plane tickets to see some friends when they come to visit America in February
What I'm reading: Orthodoxy from G.K. Chesterton
What I'm watching:Biggest Loser is starting this week!