Archive | December, 2011

And A Happy New Year…

31 Dec

I love those recap of the year segments on TV.  The ones that make you remember all the things that have occured  during the past year.  I wish my life could be one of those recap programs.  It would show-

-living at Seminary

-making my New Years Resolution to not buy any clothes for the girls for a whole year

-working at Lindeys Steak House

-freaking out about not knowing where we will live and if/what job Jared will get when he graduated

-hanging out in the hallway with seminary friends

-hearing about and visiting Cook, MN for the first time

-falling in love with and getting the job!

-Sophi learns to walk

-graduating from Seminary, whew

-hanging out in WI and CO for a chunk of summer

-various weddings

-Moving to Cook

-make lots of clothes for the girls

-Making new friends and finding our way in a new community, while still missing old friends

-lots of house guests

-Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in our gorgeous (but temporary) lake home


I actually did it!  I did not buy clothes for my two precious peanuts for a whole year!  Although I do not plan on making this a two year resolution, I learned a great deal from this challenge.

What are your plans for the New Year?

It is so fun to be able to start fresh with a New Year, isn’t it?

Hope you all have some fun plans for tonight and are ready to welcome 2012.

Last but not least- some wisdom from good ol’ Calvin and Hobbes:


29 Dec

Here is a last minute craft idea for those of you who have any New Years Eve plans.  This headband can dress up any outfit.

It is a mindless and easy craft that you can make while watching television.

You will need:


-hot glue gun and glue


-little beads or buttons

What you must do:

-cut out circles, a small circle and then gradually bigger circles

-arrange them how you will want them to appear on your headband

-hot glue the circles together

-hot glue the beads onto the top of the circle pile

-glue everything together and put the headband itself  in between a fairly large piece of felt and the outside piece

Wear and Enjoy!

First Skate

27 Dec

We took Aleah out a few times last year to try and teach her how to skate.  It was mostly unsuccessful with her hanging onto us, getting frustrated and just wanting to eat snow.  This year we have taken her out a handful of times with the same outcome.  On Christmas Eve we took her out again with the hopes of seeing a bit of progress.  We were all blown away by what happened:

I Can Skate!

SHE GOT IT!  She was able to stand up on her own and shuffle her way to any point on the ice she wanted.  I was so proud of her!  She had a huge smile on her face and kept sticking her tongue out because she was concentrating so hard.

First Skate

Way to go Aleah!

Merry Christmas

24 Dec

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas.

Check out this lovely Christmas reminder

The Nativity  1597

Luke 2:1-20

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world (This was the first census that took place while[a]Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.  So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Late Night Skate

21 Dec

The town of Cook, is not too big on hockey and ice skating, which is quite lame if you ask me.  We have to do absurd things like drive up to International Falls if we want to play some puck on an old men’s league.   So, we have been taking advantage of the lake that we currently live on.  Since it hasn’t snowed very much, shoveling off a rink to skate on has not been much of a chore.

Taking the girls out skating is fun but if we actually want to skate around without kids wiping out or crying- then we go out at night when they are in bed.


When I took these pictures there was a full moon lighting up the sky and we could see everything.

I can’t wait to have my family here for Christmas.  We all know how to skate (minus my brother-in-law who grew up in CA) and I am going to have a mandatory Christmas Break hockey game (although they don’t know about it yet).   Happy Skating, find some ice and go for it.  There will be snow here someday, but until then- we will be skating our hearts out~

Kids Christmas Program

19 Dec

Yesterday was the big Christmas program at our church. The kids did a great job and were pretty darn adorable.  Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure:

Great jod kids!

Aleah and her best friend Lauren singing "Away in a Manger"

Merry (almost) Christmas!


17 Dec

When you are out there looking for Christmas presents for your kids, remember:

These are the top five things that kids like to play with-

1. Stick

2. Box


4. Cardboard Tube

5. Dirt

 Happy Present Finding!

Snow Camel and Snow Frog

15 Dec

Even though we have not have very much snow we found a way to make some snow friends out on the ice.

This one is the surf board

I took a shovel and made a big pile of snow and the girls helped me form different shapes to ride on.  The one Sophia is next to is a camel:

This one with Aleah is a frog:

Game Day Chili

13 Dec

This last weekend our church had a chili cook-off.  And my chili game in second place!  The first place chili was made by a professional chef, so I am counting this recipe  a winner =)

This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens magazine and is very different than your run of the mill chili.  It has a sweet and salty taste to it.  Mmmmm, I could eat it all day.

Wanted to share this recipe with y’all.  I have never had all the exact ingredients for this recipe but use what you have and it will probably turn out great.  Except you NEED the plums and the chocolate!  Happy cooking, hope you give this recipe a try, it is worth it.  I promise.

Here it is:


Makes: 8 servings

Prep: 40 minsSlow Cook: 6 hrs to 7 hrson low, or 3 to 3-1/2 hours on high

  • recipe Chili Seasoning Puree (see below)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (we used venison)
  • large onion, chopped
  • stalk celery, sliced
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 14 ounce can beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dried plums, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • tablespoons smoked paprika
  • teaspoons ground coriander
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Directions1.Prepare Chili Seasoning Puree; set aside. In a 6-quart Dutch oven cook ground beef, onion, and celery over medium-high heat until meat is browned and onion is tender, using a wooden spoon to break up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat.2.Transfer meat mixture to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in Chili Seasoning Puree, tomatoes, broth, plums, the water, tomato paste, paprika, coriander, crushed red pepper, and cloves.3.Cook, covered, on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours (or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3-1/2 hours). Stir in chocolate if serving immediately.

Chili Seasoning Puree

  • dried ancho, mulato, or pasilla chile peppers
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • pitted dried plums (prunes)
  • fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and chopped
DirectionsIn a small bowl combine ancho, mulato, or pasilla chile peppers and enough boiling water to cover. Let stand for 30 minutes; drain well. Wearing plastic gloves, remove stems and seeds from peppers. In a food processor or blender combine drained chile peppers; beef broth; dried plums (prunes), and jalapeno chile pepper. Cover, process or blend until smooth.

Christmas from Aleah

12 Dec

Aleah has been hard at work making people Christmas presents.  I cannot tell you what it is because then you would not be surprised.  And that is half the fun of Christmas morning, in my humble opinion.

She did all the cutting for this gift.

She is so intense when she is working on a project.

Hope you are surprised and one of the lucky ones chosen to be a recipient of one of these.