Saturday, June 30, 2007

To Start

Vacation is here! Travis officially declared that it had started yesterday evening as we finished up our workout and ate "chunky monkey" style bowls of icecream in bed.

When we were first married, Travis and I decided that we would alternate vacation and Christmas as a way to stay connected to both families. This year, we will be celebrating our vacation by joining the Shanks at a lodge in the White Mountains of Arizona for a week. My parents are currently on a short vacation with Emily and Brett in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They went for my cousin's wedding and are enjoying the GR lifestyle including lakes, skiing, parties, bbq's and Dutch bingo (who are you related to or know in relationship to the person to who you are talking). Travis and I are excited about joining them for Christmas again this year.
As you can see by the picture, I am thrilled at the prospect of long days sitting down. I know we will still stay active with amenitites like swimming, running, biking, hiking, and GOLF (Travis' input). I have some catching up to do with triathlon training-- the higher altitude will be perfect for training for our race in August. My other favorite amenity will be no cable TV. I have my big stack of books for the trip as well as ones I am going to pick up at the library this morning. That chair is calling out my name right now. I hope our days will include coffee, devotions, workout, read, nap, cook, eat.

So after a long vacation from blogging, I'll pick back up and post some of our favorite vacation activities and updates in our world as of late.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jesus Makes Us Buoyant

Did you read this on Girltalk today? I have been contemplating a lot about the birth and life of children lately. One of my close friends is nearing her due date, as well as several of them pregnant. There are also several stories of children who are suffering with illness, such as Alivia, or another little boy struggling against inevitable death. This comes close on the heels of our friends, Jon and Jenny, losing their little newborn to prenatal disabilities.
There are so many possible things that can go wrong: in utero, during birth, as a child. Nothing is guaranteed. We are all touched by death in some way sooner or later.
As I have been working with children all this week in a summer nutrition camp that I am running at a local library, I am aware of all the different kinds of childhoods as well. Health is one thing, but care, love and guidance from a loving family is also needed.
But I loved what Diane Jones said on Girltalk because it offers such a wonderful thought: Jesus makes us buoyant. Whether it be a needy child that is our own or one that we come to know, I know that Jesus can lift us up.
He can certainly lift us up. Travis and I received news today that we are going to get back our deposit on the house. After finding out that the reimbursement program wasn't HUD certified, we appealed to get our money back and pull out of the house that we bought. (And for those of you counting, yes, that is 2 houses that we have now "bought":) This news comes at a much needed time when bills are due, cars needed repairs, teeth need repairing and the money just wasn't adding up. It is easy to feel like you are drowing against an inevitable tide. I am learning, however, that circumstances may not change, yet Jesus will lift you up, allowing you to bounce back against all the odds.
We are praying for those odds for others as well. If you can, lift up a prayer for Alivia that God would bring her parents a much needed boost of spirits.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Caramel Sauce on Fish?

We hosted dinner club today for lunch after church. We fed the kiddos, put them to bed and then had a couple uninterrupted hours together as couples. We went for a Southeast Asian theme using some various recipes from Food and Wine, Terrific Pacific and the famous Frog Commissary Cookbook.
We decided that the best new recipe was this one: Spiced Chicken with Coconut-Caramel Sauce and Citrus Salad. Here's a picture of the recipe made with chicken. I tried it using Ahi tuna instead of chicken and put them on kabobs. I served the grilled kabobs over lettuce leaves with the citrus fruit segments underneath and the caramel sauce drizzled over top. It was a great new flavor combination, well worth the effort to make the caramel. I also added coconut milk to the marinade to soften the spices, since we were using fish. My husband also came up with a GREAT new way to grill fish-- put a large piece of aluminum foil underneath and grill as usual. You even get great grill marks still without the pieces all falling off the kabobs through the grates.
We also served Bacon Wrapped Beef Kabobs with Sweet Potatoes marinated in a watered down Peanut Sauce (from the famous Frog Commissary Cookbook) over rice. We had a White Cabbage and Green Papaya Slaw and several tropical juice drinks. We also tried some very curious Ginger Malt drink that I found at Lee Lee's, our international super grocery store. And we finished off the afternoon with Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta (a little too rich for me-- next time I'll use some whole milk instead of cream) with a Twisted Poppyseed Yeasted Coffeecake from a very old article in Martha Stewart Living. I'll post later about the delicious appetizers we made from Terrific Pacific cookbook...

Check it out...

Were you up early this morning? . From 6:30am-7:00, you might have heard me on the radio stations KMLE 108 or on KOOL 94.5. I was a guest on a local program called Sunday Sunrise where we discussed the benefits of healthy eating.

If you missed me, you can catch it again and hear my voice next week too. Same time, same place :) For those of you on the East Coast, this will be easy, but for us on the West Coast, it might require some sacrifice.