Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Christmas

This year for Christmas Jeremy's Dad, Mom and sister Lisa came to visit us for one week and stayed in a timeshare right down the street from us. We packed lots of fun, food, and laughs into the week that they were here, check out some of the pictures below.

Lisa making a silly face

me and Jeremy

Jeremy making his silly face

me making my silly face

Lisa and Mom and Dad Mangerchine, enjoying a game of Phase 10

Since there were no Christmas decorations in the timeshare (where we spent most of our week) we decided to bring over our unused decorations and make our own Christmas tree out of the given shrubbery

If you've been following our blog for any length of time then you should be familiar with my collection of photos of Dad taking naps throughout the day, here's another pic for my collection. Does anyone else actually sleep with pillows on top of them???

Different angle

Mom making her delicious devilled eggs


Check out the bowling shoes and cuffed jeans, stylin!

Dad bowling

Lisa and Dad

My Mom's husband, Francisco, working on a puzzle after church Christmas Eve

Jeremy enjoying our delicious Christmas Eve evening buffet of snack foods as we all hang out and play games

Dad posing by the food

Lisa, my Mom, Francisco and Mom Mangerchine working on the puzzle

Jeremy with "see food"

Dad and Lisa... don't you like her "got presents" shirt?

Francisco caught in the act of dancing to our Christmas music

Jeremy doodling all over his Yahtzee score sheet, you should see the way he fills up a whole piece of paper with doodles during class

This picture needs a little more explanation... it's our Mangerchine tradition that each year on Christmas Eve we all go to the dollar store and pick one present for each person (can be a gag gift or real useful gift), then we go back and exchange them. This has provided us with many laughs over the years and is one of my favorite Christmas traditions now. This Quince Anos (the Spanish version of a sweet sixteen, actually a sweet 15) was Mom's present from Lisa.

Jeremy's collection of police badge, gun and whistle from Lisa.

Lisa's pom poms from me.

Here I am wearing the tiara and earrings that Lisa gave me. I am holding the baby that Jeremy gave me... As he knows that my heart so desires children, but we have chosen to wait for a while before having them my man gave me a baby for Christmas, it was hilarious! I quickly named it baby Whose-a-what, we decided that it's a she and my motherly instincts started kicking in as I admired my little prize possession. Since then we've been playing around with little Whose-a-what and joking about who needs to change her diaper or give her a bath. Don't be surprised if you see her pop up in random family pictures from time to time.

Admiring my little bundle of joy

Daddy's little girl

Me opening gifts on Christmas Day, of course with baby Whose-a-what in tow

Dad with his pull up bar

Lisa with her new shirt

Mom opening her slow cooker

My stack of sewing and cookbooks that I received

Jeremy's Christmas gag vest... maybe this would be a good candidate for our tacky Christmas card outfits for next year

Dad reading us the story of Jesus' birth from the Gospels

Time for another nap

Different angle

Lisa wearing a new visor and tshirt

And another Mangerchine man down, that triptophan is powerful stuff

What did you do for Christmas?


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Hidden Art of Homemaking

I recently finished reading The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer and Deirdre Ducker. I enjoyed the definition of ‘hidden art’ as provided on the back cover of the book;

“I would define ‘hidden art’ as the art found in the ordinary areas of everyday life. Each person has, I believe, some talent which is unfulfilled in some hidden area of his being- a talent which could be expressed and developed.”

Edith takes this concept of hidden art and develops it in further detail in the follow categories; music, painting sketching and sculpturing, interior decoration, gardens and gardening, flower arrangements, food, writing- prose and poetry, drama, creative recreation, clothing, integration, and environment.

This book is a great handbook for any “Proverbs 31 woman”. It is filled with tips on how to use your home and life for ministry unto the Lord. It’s a great read for any woman who may be in a rut; finding her role as a wife or mother to be ordinary or boring. The book provides great encouragement reminding the reader of the numerous “small” things that a woman does around the home and the significant eternal impact that can flow from those. It provides ideas for creativity and twists on your old routines, all the while staying focused on keeping things simple, inexpensive and focused on relationships.

What are you currently reading?


Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend cooking

Here are some pictures and recipes from my weekend cooking.

Thai Chicken Curry

I had a roommate who was Thai who used to make this and has passed this recipe on to me, it is delicious! This dish is always better the next day so save the leftovers! Serve with white rice.

-2 (14 oz) cans coconut milk
-1 lb chicken, cubed
-3 tablespoons red curry paste (I like this out of the small red can that you can find in the Oriental section of a store, sometimes you’ll see it in a jar, but if you can get the canned. I find it at the Oriental market)
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-2 tablespoons lime juice
-3 tablespoons brown sugar
-1/3 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped (Thai Basil if you can find it at an Oriental market, it will be MUCH cheaper than buying basil at the grocery store and will taste more authentic)
-her recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of olive oil to cook the chicken in, I omit this and just use cooking spray though
-1 bell pepper, sliced thin
-1 yellow onion, sliced thin
-2-3 zucchini, shredded, cut into matchstick pieces, or peeled into long strands using a peeler (I do it a little different every time… the original recipe calls for shredded)
-several carrots, shredded, cut into matchstick pieces, or peeled into long ribbons
-1 can bamboo tips, rinsed and chopped into long thin slices

Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Cook veggies (in oil if desired) until soft and set aside. Add chicken (and oil if desired) and heat until cooked through. Set aside with veggies. Reduce heat to medium and add coconut milk. Stir in curry paste until well blended. Bring to a boil and let simmer 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, lime juice and brown sugar, simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir in basil. Return chicken and veggies to the pan. Stir to combine and simmer 5 more minutes.

Split Pea Soup with Ham

-4 ½ cups water
-5 cups chicken broth
-1 pound bag split peas, rinsed
-1 yellow onion, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 lb. potatoes, diced
-1 lb. carrots, diced
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-I lb. ham, diced

In large pot sauté onions and garlic in oil or spray over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add split peas, water and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 ½ hours. Add carrots, potatoes, ham and black pepper. Simmer 45 minutes.

Brownie Pudding Cake

This bakes a cake-like brownie, with a pudding/ chocolate sauce underneath. Spoon vanilla ice cream over this dessert while it's still warm.

1 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. walnuts
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. cocoa
1 1/2 c. boiling water

Mix first 5 ingredients together. Add milk, oil, and vanilla. Stir in nuts. Pour in greased 8x8 pan. Mix brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa, and boiling water. Pour hot water mixture on entire batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Cool for 40-60 minutes before serving.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Cards and 80's Photo Shoot

This year Jeremy and I sent out two different types of Christmas cards. We sent out the homemade cards pictures below to most of our family.

And we sent out the photo cards below to most of our friends.

The whole picture card started with a "contest" between us and our friends Lucas and Christie Waschkowski. When we were in Simpsonville visiting them in September we all came up with an idea for the creepiest Christmas card contest. The premise was to find outdated outfits (Jeremy and I went 80's) and take some fun and/or creepy poses and then send them out as our Christmas cards. We had a whole photo shoot filled with great pictures and ultimately chose a fun picture that we thought better captured the mood of the 80's rather than some of the other pics taken. We had a blast with the costume selection, photo shoot and all. We loved it so much that we've even thought of having an 80's inspired party. So without further delay, here are some of the funny, creepy and fun pictures from our photo shoot.

I hope that you had a few laughs, or at least smiles from enjoying the photos. We certainly did posing for them!