Saturday, September 29, 2007

Last night we had our dear friends, the Riggenbachs over to share a Lebanese feast with us.   We started dinner preparations the day before, to ensure that we would be able to enjoy several of our favorite dishes.  We made a few new things, some old favorites and then attempted to copy some dishes that we used to eat at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Houston.

In the end, and keeping to Lebanese tradition, our menu consisted of lamb, grilled zucchini and onion, stuffed grape leaves, Tabbuli, Chimmichurri sauce(which isn't Middle Eastern, just a favorite), Feta and mint dip, hummus, pita chips, flat bread,  Spanokapita and Baklava.  Here are a few pictures:

An "art-sy" shot of the grape leaves.
Spanokapita (or "Spinach-Feta Baklava" as my mom calls it. ;-))
This side of the plate, from L-R, shows the Tabbuli, Feta-Mint Dip, and Hummus.
Baklava...need I say more?
I could not, for the life of me, make my grape leaves as nice as my Mom and Jessica could...maybe it has something to do with them having fine motor skills...

And no, I won't tell you which ones are mine.
My mom getting ready to steam the grape leaves.
The *best* grape leaf stuffer-makers ever!
Grace and Abigail were waiting rather impatiently for our company to arrive, so they counted to sixty hoping they would arrive faster.

Jessica and I thought that since we were eating Middle Eastern food, why not go for the dress as well...
...but we forgot to pass the "costume party" details along...
Grilled Zucchini, Garlic and Onion
I forgot to take a picture of our Chimmichurri sauce before we started eating it...sorry. :)
A Stuffed Grape Leaf

No, this wasn't my plate...I made it for my dad so that everything would be arranged *artistically.*

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Well, for those of you who haven't read this on my mom's blog yet, and even for those of you who have, we are just so excited that we can't help but mom's book is done! Those long days of writing, re-writing, editing, conference calls, study, more writing, re-writing, etc...are done! We are eagerly looking forward to getting a *real* copy of the book. We are so grateful to Vision Forum for their long tedious work hours and their patience as the manuscripts were passed back and forth. Here is a little blurb about the book:

Passionate Housewives: Desperate for God

Fresh Vision for the Hopeful Homemaker

By Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald

Have you struggled to reconcile God's vision of virtuous womanhood with worldly myths that marginalize and mock the role of the homemaker? Do you wrestle with cultural messages that demean the homemaker's calling and exalt instead the emotionally androgynous power-woman--the wife whose worth is measured only by the degree of her ambition, the shape of her body, or her money-making skills? Such is the image of the "desperate housewife" that the modern media, culture, and feminism are promoting with great energy.

In a delightfully fresh and honest way, this book addresses these issues head-on and provides fresh vision for the hopeful homemaker. Hear a former "Christian" feminist share how she went from a die-hard homemaker-in-training to a dedicated career woman and then back again--after God gripped her heart. See the hollow counterfeit of whitewashed feminism and "me-ology" destroyed.  And consider the beautiful picture painted in Scripture of the truly fulfilled homemaker who glories in the hopeful calling God created for her.

Pull up a chair, dust off the cookie crumbs, and join Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald as they lay aside stereotypes like the "Stepford Wife" and dispel such myths as the 1950's "perfect homemaker."  Laughter and tears will flow, and hopefully you will be infused with a renewed vision for victory as a wife and mother. Discover what it means to be a passionate housewife "desperate" for God alone! Paperback. Approx. 200 pgs. $16 (available through Vision Forum soon)

Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God challenges women to enthusiastically embrace our high calling, that of wife & mother. Be encouraged as Jennie and Stacy reveal God's truth and expose the lies that lead to disillusionment. May you come away empowered by God's grace to love and honor your husband and to joyfully lead your children by example to love God and serve others. ~ Michelle Duggar, wife of Jim Bob Duggar, whose family story has been featured on Discovery Channel's Raising 16 Children

I gladly recommend this book for all women who want to honor Him and help others (even a two-year-old!) to glorify Him, by dying to self with joy and thanksgiving. He is worthy of our efforts and these two authors cheer us on to biblical femininity. ~ Valerie Shepard, Wife of Pastor Walt Shepard and Daughter of Elisabeth Elliot

To read more about the book, visit here!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Summer is coming to an end, and so our forest of basil is bound to wither and die soon.  So instead of allowing it to do so, I went out this morning and cut down only one basil plant to make large amounts of pesto for this winter.  With 34 cups of basil, my work was cut out.  So we made regular Parmesan pesto, feta pesto, and feta olive pesto.   

Yes, this is only one plant...

Work should never be done without "sweettea." 

Grace picked the flowers off of the top so we could use the seeds for next year.

Jessica helped for a while, until she discovered a tiny green spider...the rest is history. :)

I tried to ignore the bugs...but it didn't help that they ended up being the same color as my shirt.

One batch down...
The finished product... 

From top to bottom we, I don't remember which is which, but I did label them. :)  Tomorrow we'll put them in smaller jars for freezing.  If you happen to eat at our house this winter, you'll most likely have some...that is, of course, if we decide to share...

Friday, September 21, 2007

We went to Christ Orchard early this afternoon.  After taste testing a bunch of apples, we finally made our decisions and then headed out to the U-Pick fields so the little girls could have a bit of fun.  

One of the many rows of apples...
Red Delicious apples...not my favorite in the grocery store, but then again I'm told they dye and wax the apples in repulsive...
Mom and the little girls.
Abigail, Emma, Virginia Grace and their apples.
No-dye+no hormones+no waxing= delicious
Right before I took this picture, there was actually a fly on one of these apples...Abigail saw it, dropped (or threw) her apples on the ground and started screaming. :) 
Emma and her apple.  The pink area below her bottom lip is not food, just in case you thought we left it there. :)  
Grace picking her share.
I saw these flowers and couldn't resist getting their photograph.  As usual, I put the more "art-sy" ones on my photo blog.
And last but not least, Grace and Mom heading back with a bag of fresh apples...I won't tell you how many different kinds we ended up with. :)  I smell some apple pies, apple crisps, applesauces, the near future...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Caleb and William

Today is my not-so-little-brother, Caleb's birthday. It seems almost impossible that he is turning 11 today. Having another baby brother in the house brings back so many memories of those sweet days when Caleb was smaller. We love you, Caleb, and hope you have another wonderful year. May the grace of God be ever with you as you follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before us, keeping your eyes fixed on Jesus every step of the way.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

William was doing the chicken dance last night after dinner, singing and dancing.  It was really cute.   I whipped the camera out to get some photos and I was so intent on making sure I captured the moment, that I forgot to turn some more lights on...and he moves so fast, so some of the pictures are a bit blurry, but least we will have memories.  Your words to this song may vary, but this is how William sings it...

Da, na, na, na, na, na....
...da, na, na, na, na, na, na....
...da, na, na, na...
...clap, clap, clap, clap....
...da, na, na, na, na, na, na...
...da, na, na, na, na, na, na...
...da, na, na, na....
...clap, clap, clap, clap.

Jessica posted photos from our canoe outing yesterday.  We had a blast as usual, except that she refused to face forward, so we had a hilarious time trying to figure out how to steer the boat while we facing each other.  :)  

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Unfortunately, I was only able to catch part of the debate last night, so I'm hoping they put the video clips up soon.  I know some people that went out to Florida for the debate, but I didn't realize they were going to *be part* of James Lansberry, a friend of ours was one of the many people asking questions...

Samaritan Ministries International, James Lansberry - HEALTH CARE

 "I'm James Lansberry of Samaritan Ministries. Nations with socialized medicine reduce the cost of their health care systems by restricting patient access to needed treatments and health care rationing. Will you protect the availability of needed medical care by opposing current efforts to subject Americans to government-mandated health insurance and universal coverage?"  

Monday, September 17, 2007

We had so much going on this past week it seems amazing that we were able to fit it all in such a short time.  The weather has been a bit on the *nippy* side lately, so we've had the windows open and the kids have had a blast outside.  Caleb is planning on posting some other pictures from things we did earlier this week. 

Yesterday afternoon, we had the pleasure of hosting the Sanford family and had a delightful time, as usual. ;-)  An unfinished round of Four-on-a-Couch was played and since it looked like the game would never end, we switched to Taboo.  After dinner, we traipsed down to the "carriage house" for some English Country dancing. Here are a *few* pictures from our week. 

William decided that he was going to learn how to play golf...the only problem is, we don't have miniature golf clubs he figured a hockey stick would be just as good.

It would seem that Jessica and I have met our match in Taboo...we're going to have to keep an eye on Garrison and Josh.
Here are some of us left on the dance floor...the others were fortunate enough to escaped the paparazzi...
Front row L-R: Josh, Adrianna, and Garrison
Back Row L-R - Me, Melinda, Melissa, Jessica and Susanna
...and gentlemen.

One of our many traditions is to make pumpkin muffins on the first cold day of the year.
William didn't seem too excited about getting his haircut...
...but then we fed him some dinner mints and he behaved like an angel. ;-)
Wililam's new look.