Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Fun with Auntie Kat

Lucy is having lots of fun with Auntie Kat. She made a sign to meet her at the airport. Lucy let her Auntie do her hair! She repeatedly asks when Auntie Kat is going to come downstairs for breakfast... and the list goes on.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Recipe of the week: Pumpkin Risotto

Doesn't this look good! It tasted good too but took a really long time to make and used lots and lots of dishes. I had ripped it out of a magazine (I can't remember which one) but after exhausting myself cooking and cleaning up I recycled the recipe. No need to keep that one.

I tear out lots of recipes. Now I am trying to be disciplined by testing them out and either keeping them in my recipe folder or tossing them out. Unfortunately this was too complicated for a family with 2 littlies.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Mike & Katie's wedding

This weekend we had the super fun experience of attending another American wedding. The happy couple Mike & Katie elop
ed in October but given their non-refundable deposit on the reception they decided to go ahead and celebrate with their friends and family. We are so glad that they did! The wedding was at the River Landing Country Club in Wallace and it was SO beautiful! We enjoyed it so much - great food, great friends and lots of dancing. In fact it was very similar to lots of Australian weddings we have been to, but with less speeches. Henry was the most sought after dance partner (he smiled and didn't tread on any toes).

Friday, 26 March 2010

Hurricane warning

Auntie Kat arrives today just after midday. Let the noise begin!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Board Games 16: Tigris and Euphrates

We've played this game twice, both on the same day. It's very highly rated in the gamer world but it is complicated, takes a long time and highly strategic. Good for engineers, bad for marital relations. We haven't played it again since. Andrew is looking for volunteers to play with. Anyone?

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Consummatum est

Today is an historic occasion! The pizza oven is now officially finished and this morning the county gave its final approval. It all started on 23 July 2008 and now 20 months later it is complete. Photos to follow later.

Easter plans

Despite everyday busyness and the fact that not much gets done around our house (until after 8pm) I did make the time to sit down and work out our Easter activities for this year. I'm mostly using the same ideas from last year with some improvements. With Henry's baptism on Easter Sunday and lots of family coming in (yay) we are going to be busier than ever but I think it's important to do things that remind us of Christ and not get caught up in the busyness. I'm working on enjoying each activity and not just going through the motion to get the to-do list ticked off.

House decoration

We have hung a cross shaped wreath on our front door. Wreathes are a big deal here in the US. Most houses have them and people change them with the holidays (Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day etc) but I rarely see an Easter themed one that is not about eggs, bunnies and chickens.

We have also hung a flag over our garage. Again flags are a big deal and also reflect the holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July etc) Ours says 'Christ has risen' and has a picture of a cross with purple linen hung across it, a rising sun and a lamb.

Easter books

This year Lucy painted and 'stickered' a cardboard box to hold the Easter books. Luc
y loves to read so each year I add a few books to our collection and now we have a good number of them.

If you want details then send me an email.

Resurrection Eggs

The resurrection eggs tell the Bible story of Easter through objects. Each egg contains something that explains the story (eg coins, thorns, cross, nail) and a bible verse.

This year over 12 days after bath time we are going to hide one egg a day throughout the house. When Lucy finds it we will review the story.

Lenten candles

At breakfast each day we read selected bible passages that tell the story of the whole world until Jesus.

At the start of the week 7 candles are lit. By Good Friday all candles are blown out. On Easter Sunday we light all 7 again and celebrate saying 'He is risen'.

  • Lucy has some colouring projects - a sign that says 'He is risen!' and a New Testament minibook
  • At preschool Lucy has an Easter show and lunch for the parents
  • Making hot cross buns (maybe third year lucky on this one)
  • Lamb roast dinner
  • Henry's baptism
  • Lamb baskets on Easter Sunday. Each year it is a challenge to find lamb themed goods. I did pretty well this year but not sure how long this can continue! This year some of the items are: a lamb teether, lamb booties, lamb slippers, soft toy lambs, a lamb rattle and a lamb place mat.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Recipe of the week: Mac n Cheese

I've probably mentioned before that I subscribe to Cooks Illustrated. I love this magazine/website as they test all of their recipes over and over again until they come up with the perfect recipe. I always get compliments when I cook from their 'make ahead' cook book (French Toast casserole, Creamy chicken and rice casserole). In this case the recipe is for mac and cheese. Something I'd never eaten until arriving in the US. It is a staple here. It is almost its own food group. All kids love it, all adults love it. It is usually served as a side dish on buffets and can be ordered as a main meal for kids. Suffice to say that since being here I've tried lots of mac and cheese. I have to say that this is the BEST mac and cheese. It's not a quick recipe, but none of the Cook's illustrated recipe are quick, they're just good! This one has fontina cheese and a undertone of bacon (while I'm not a bacon fan I loved this) Such a good meal to make lots of and freeze portions for a quick lunch.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Birthday update

My birthday seemed to go on for a long time this year starting with a weekend in New Bern and ending last Saturday with a movie & fondue with Amy & Alexis.

The day before my birthday we spent at home playing board games and setting up my new computer. I'm still getting used to new programs and set ups which has partially led to the lack of blogging. But now I am mobile with my laptop thanks to wireless throughout our house (being married to an engineer is patience building but in this instance results in a happy outcome)

When I got back from the retreat, with my new red Coach bag from the outlets, Andrew and Lucy make me a banana spice cake and sang happy birthday to me.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Board Games 15: Bohnanza

This is my all-time favourite game! A big statement but its going to take an awesome game to knock this one off its number 1 status. (In my opinion it is better than Ticket to Ride but they are quite different games and both excellent) We've played this game A LOT. The majority of games have been two handed but twice at parties we've managed to get seven people playing and once we had five. It is so much fun with lots of people and lots of trading goes on. The two person version is good but not nearly as much fun as the bigger one. The aim of the game is to plant bean fields with lots of beans of the same type in order to earn gold coins. He with the most coins winneth. Although this card game comes in a small box it defies its size in the fun that it produces.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Recipe of the week: Pork with apples and onions

I was lucky to get a photo of this dinner because it was gone in no time at all. A simple combination of apples, onions and white wine make a delicious accompaniment to pan-seared pork. Served with couscous and baby carrots makes a typical dinner in our house these days. Henry gets some of the leftovers put in the blender for him to eat the next day.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Weekend fun

Still very busy. Here's a rundown of the weekend:

  • Attended the Fun Festival at the Rock church. There were 7 rides including an awesome gliding one that you lay down for. We met up with Stacie,Grace & Karlie. Lucy had a ball and then ate lots of fried fish.
  • Birthday dinner with Amy & Alexis at Melting Pot. We had the chocolate s'mores fondue! We also saw the Alice in Wonderland movie.
  • Kids Scavenger Hunt at church meant that Andrew & I (with Henry in tow) could have brunch at Boca Bay.
  • Daylight savings meant one hour less sleep but it felt like 10.

Friday, 12 March 2010

We're still alive!

Thanks Carrie for your comment. Yes we are still here and no I didn't get a salmon cake for my birthday (in fact this year it was a very lovely butter cake with lots of icing) It's just the usual life busyness keeping me away from writing. Lucy has had strep this week. Although she has been great about it this time it has been exhausting keeping Lucy and Henry separated. My babysitter was sick the week before and various other things have been going on including welcoming cousin Edward to the world. Suffice to say that I will try to get back next week, though I still have the New Bern post hanging over my head.

We have big Easter plans coming up! Only 14 days until Auntie Kat arrives from London, 22 days until Nanna, Grandpa and Uncle Michael arrive from Australia and 23 days until Henry's baptism.