Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Productive and Creative

Alex took his first final yesterday, and has the rest of them later this week. In order to do what I can to help him I've been helping by quizzing him using his flashcards. Which I think must be more amusing for him than me, seeing as pronouncing the names of the words on his flashcards feels like learning a whole new language. Myelocyte... Hematopoiesis... Polychromatic... I have no clue what these are (Alex just informed me that they have to do with blood cell formation - like I even understand what that is.) But it's been helping him so I'll keep quizzing!

Otherwise I've been scrapbooking like crazy. I haven't seen the top of my kitchen table in over a month. I put my sewing machine away and out comes the scrapbooking papers and photos and stickers, oh my. Its a frustrating process. I do one page, hate it when its finished, and walk away leaving everything on the table. Than I come back, end up making 4 pages that are perfect and I don't want to stop. Which is probably good since I haven't scrapbooked any of the gazillion photos I've taken since 2005. I have a little catching up to do.

This week I got everything set up for me to enroll at Life Pacific College in the Fall. I'll be doing their online Degree Completion program in Ministry & Leadership. I have a few classes I have to take before next fall, so I'm working on getting those taken care of. I'm really excited about FINALLY finishing my BA and being able to do what I've felt God called me to many years ago - full time ministry. I'm waiting on God and taking things one step at a time for now.

Better get back to my scrapbook....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mini Raspberry-Almond Swirls

One of the pastors at our church is getting married today. When she found out that I like to bake, she asked me if I could make some mini-desserts for her wedding. Of course I said I would because I LOVE to bake and 200 mini desserts sounds like a challenge! She had several people making different mini desserts, and we decided I would make mini raspberry almond swirls. They are sooooo yummy! (Just a side note: I REALLY missed my house and my beautiful big kitchen today!) I just dropped them off at the church after baking all morning but I thought I'd post pictures of my baking adventure.

Here's the recipe if you want to try it yourself. Don't be intimidated by the length of the recipe or the ingredients - its easier than it looks. If you put chocolate on them there more like a dessert but I've also put icing on them and they taste more like a breakfast pastry. Yummy!!!
One batch going in the oven and one batch coming out!

The finished product! (Yes there is chocolate on top :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Present

On December 13, 2003, I received the best Christmas present I've ever gotten. Here's how the story goes:

I had been suffering with some depression for several months and it had a lot to do with my infertility. A few of our peers were starting their families and I knew it would be years before we would have babies of our own. I started longing for a puppy thinking that it might be a good way to use my natural desire to nurture.

Alex and I were on a mission that day. We drove to all the animal shelters in the nearest towns and couldn't find a puppy for us. While we were in Visalia we decided to stop in the mall. The first store, right at the entrance to the mall was a small pet shop with puppies and kitty's in the windows.I looked in one window to see four beautiful cocker spaniel pups playing with each other. two of them were sable colored, one was black, and the other was a beautiful reddish buff colored with white freckles and white paws. She looked just like Lady from "Lady and the Tramp". Alex said that I immediately pointed at her and said "That's the one I want - that's our puppy!" Alex was instantly in love as well, reminding him of his childhood cocker spainel named Silver or "Silvey". After holding her and playing awhile we paid for her and took her to our car.

She was the smallest little thing, and very quiet. I tried to put her in the crate I had in the back seat but she stared crying, so I gave in and held her while Alex drove. Alex went into A&W to get us dinner but I was so excited that I couldn't eat. She fell asleep in my arm and we talked about what to name her as we drove home. We thought about "Freckles" or "Buffy". We finally decided on "Audrey" because she looked so classy (and we had been watching a lot of Audrey Hephburn movies at the time).

She is our little princess and the best Christmas present ever!

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree, how I will miss your branches....

We decided not to decorate for Christmas this year. It's kinda depressing, but very practical. All of our Christmas stuff is in storage at our house in Fresno. If we wanted to decorate we would have to bring all that stuff up here, unpack it to decorate, than after Christmas we'd repack all of it up and drive it back to Fresno. Seeing as we're planning on staying in Fresno during Alex's 3 week break anyway, it just seems like too much work. We can enjoy our parents decorations instead!

That being said, I have always started decorating the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas is my favorite holiday so it's taking a lot of self control to hold back and not just buy new stuff. I have, however, already started on my Christmas cards. And I'm going to be baking like I've never baked before. Just because I don't have decorations doesn't me I can't make mom's famous ginger cookies :) I'm also helping decorating at our church this week, so that will help my need to be creative.

We had a nice week in Fresno. Thanksgiving was wonderful as usual, and we were both able to spend lots of time with our families. Beth dragged me out at 4:00am on Black Friday because there was a great sale at Aeropostle and Penny's. Since I'm not going to be there for her birthday in a couple weeks, I joined in on the early morning fun. (Seriously, the only reason I was up at 3:30 am is because she's my sister and I love her and I miss my shopping buddy!) Marnie even tagged along and boy was she a trooper. The best part of the whole morning was when she went up to the counter at Starbucks and order a "Tall, decaf, eggnog latte, please"(Its funny because she's nine!) The look on the cashier's face was priceless! And yes, she drank the whole thing.

I'm still recovering from Fridays sleep deprivation, so I'll be heading off to take a nap now. Toodles.