Monday, March 24, 2008

Half way!

I reached the 20 week mark of my pregnancy on Saturday! Mom and Dad were here for my cousin's graduation from college, the boys had a great time hunting for Easter eggs in our community park, and high-stakes games of bocce ball commenced at the graduation party.

Sunday morning, Luke played in the band at church for both services. We had the most amazing music during the services; truly a celebration of our Risen Lord.

Enjoy the pictures!







































Thursday, March 20, 2008

Something to think about...

After reading another blog yesterday, I've been pondering this idea ever since. It basically said that instead of raising children, we as parents are raising men and women. Which made me think... are Luke and I raising godly men?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

They grow up so fast...

My cousin is graduating from college this weekend. She's a wonderful young woman and an extremely talented artist. She's a devoted Christian and very active in the Young Life program on campus. She's made the most of her college years, making friends (I think on her facebook page she's got something on the order of 660 friends) and memories that will last her a lifetime.

When I told Luke that she was graduating this weekend, he said, "How can that be possible? Isn't she, like 16 or something?"

One of our enduring memories of her is from the New Year's Eve after we were engaged... we had come to Seattle to celebrate with my aunt and uncle. She was 16 and celebrating with her friends by swigging sparkling cider directly out of the bottle, running around the house and causing general mayhem. When we think of her, this is often the image we get and it makes us smile every time.

So congratulations, dear cousin. You have a wonderful adventure in front of you.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I stopped counting after five.

Pieces of foccaccia bread, that is. Take a look for yourself! Can you blame me?


























And two helpings of spaghetti.






















So... you want the recipes? I thought you would.

Fabulous Foccacia
2 tsp rapid-rising dry yeast
1 c warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
3 1/2 to 4 c flour
1 Tbsp coarse salt
1/4 c olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting

Toppings:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 Tbsp water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 c olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, coat a small saute pan with olive oil, add the onion, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until the onions caramelize.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with even more olive oil and then add caramelized onions, garlic, cheese, salt, pepper and rosemary. Bake on the bottom rack 15 - 20 minutes.

Light Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Cooking spray
1 c chopped onion
4 cloves minced garlic
2 14-oz cans Italian style tomatoes, undrained
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 pkg ground turkey
12 oz cooked and drained pasta

Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray, heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered 25 -35 minutes or until sauce is desired consistency.

Meanwhile. cook turkey in another large skillet until just no longer pink, breaking into chunks with a wooden spoon. Stir turkey into sauce; heat through. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

A green salad would round out this meal nicely... I almost made Caesar salad with this last night but probably would have been the only one to eat it, so thought better of it. I didn't feel too guilty about not serving a veggie with this, though, considering how many tomatoes are in the sauce! This meal was perfect for a gray, rainy, almost-spring day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Movies I'd like to see...

Many of you know that Luke and I don't get out to the theaters often... it's kind of a side effect of having three-year-old twins. But there are a couple of movies that I'd really like to see in the next few weeks.

One is The Other Boleyn Girl. The other is Leatherheads.

I know... they're totally opposite ends of the movie spectrum. One is a drama set in Tudor England during the reign of Henry VIII, the other looks to be a comedy set in the 1920s. However, both have stellar casts and actors who often choose great stories to tell. (They do have the occasional duds, though.)

So... we'll have to see if Luke and I can arrange to go on a date (gasp!) sometime soon to see at least one of these. Since The Other Boleyn Girl definitely looks to be more of a girlie flick, I'll probably look to one of my girlfriends for that outing.

So that's it... not much to this post, just a few thoughts buzzing around in my head.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Scandinavian. Definitely Scandinavian.

Some stereotypes don't bear out... but I have to tell you, the one about Scandinavians having a bit of a stubborn streak? That one's holding true with this baby already. Throughout most of the ultrasound on Tuesday morning, this baby stubbornly refused to give up the secret of whether we are expecting a boy or a girl, legs firmly crossed in defiance of the ultrasound tech's best effort. At least it wasn't as bad as the episode of the Simpsons in which Bart moons the doctor!

Not one to be deterred, the technician examined the baby, found the baby has four chambers to the heart, two hemispheres to the brain and five fingers and toes on each hand and foot. Although technically I was at 17 weeks and 1 day pregnant, the baby was measuring at about 17 weeks and 5 days, so the growth and development looks good. Everything was looking good, except for this baby's stubborn streak in preventing us from knowing which names to consider for the next four months.

Maybe our technician has some Scandinavian in her, too, because she was persistent in trying to discover for us the gender of our baby. Finally, the poking and prodding and cajoling paid off. And we're having....

A human.

Who happens to be a boy.

So much for mother's intuition.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Blogless in Seattle

I know it's been a while since I've posted, and I'm going to make you wait at least another day before I post anything really substantial, but here's a mini-update of what's been going on lately.

*My Mom's Club friends helped me out tremendously last week with the boys, saving my sanity during the last few days that Luke was gone. They helped entertain the boys, gave me a break, and even cooked us dinner a few times! Thanks, everyone!

*Luke arrived home safely on Friday evening, to everyone's great joy. We had really missed him! He gets to be home this week, but looks like he might have to travel back to California every other week until sometime in June/July.

*Grandma is moving into an assisted living facility today after suffering an episode with her heart two weeks ago. Since then, she's received a pace maker, and had surgery to repair an eye that ruptured during a fall. Luckily, she's recuperating nicely and is in great spirits.

*We get to find out tomorrow what variety of baby we're having... which is why I won't be posting anything more substantial than this until at least then. We'll be sharing the happy news as soon as we hear anything.

*Wendy has some excellent thoughts over at her blog. It's humbling to have her as a friend.

That's all for now, folks. More to come later.

Edited to add: I guess that's not all... I forgot that we had the excitement of buying a new refrigerator this weekend... it's being delivered tomorrow. It'll be great to have cold food again. :)