Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vita-Mix "magic"

The Vita-mix my parents got me for my birthday is amazing! It's like going from a turbo-prop plane to a 777... Wow!

I'm a 'still-in-treatment, recovering' perfectionist, so this new way of food preparation is, and shall be, challenging for me ~ for I want everything to turn out perfectly the first time (though my husband will testify that I have improved greatly over the years...). I'll be sharing as I learn new things!

Beautiful organic fruits ready to blend together in perfect harmony!


(less than 30 seconds of blending magic)

I have to put my smoothies together in the opposite order I'm used to ~ liquids first, soft ingredients and then the frozen fruit and ice...

Okay, let's try to make "rice" ice cream...

All this consists of is ~ rice milk, vanilla extract, sugar, tapioca flour and ice cubes.


It was pretty tasty... Made it for the first time last night. Blaine had tried a few days earlier, but I wanted him to go for 'all the gusto' the first time and use brown rice syrup (trying to remove refined sugar from our diet) and almond milk (we realized, afterwards, no one is making commercial almond ice cream - hmmm). Well, it didn't 'freeze up' really good ~ kinda-sorta... It's going to take quite a bit of experimenting, but I don't mind. ;o)

Now, we need to make soup next! Stay tuned...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

Celebrating 44 years of life and living!

Flowers from Blaine
Two different "birds" in this picture... Can you identify them?

Elizabeth, Blaine and I at Alki Beach in West Seattle!

On the stairs at the beach

Elizabeth amongst the pigeons ~ they wouldn't scare off though.
As soon as we walked away, they all "swooped" us!

Brrrrr, it's so cold ~ Starbucks all around!

Happy Birthday to me!

Elizabeth and I

Blaine and I

Blaine discovered the Great Harvest Bread Company in West Seattle makes gluten-free bread ~ cinnamon raisin. Yum!

Apricot Bliss cake at Flying Apron Bakery in Fremont

Nicholas and me!

Birthday balloon from Mom and Dad!

Gift from Blaine's parents...

Nicholas gave me a book about "greens" ~ and he's not a fan of veggies!

Elizabeth gave me the Ikea boxes I need to build a little nightstand in our bedroom ~ a place to put my books!

Oh happy day ~ and do you see the hiking socks Blaine got for me?!

Yay! :)

Benjamin and Kirstin gave me a 1 hour massage ~ I'm so excited!

And the biggest surprise: my parents gave me the Vita-Mix mixer I've really wanted, but didn't know when I'd be able to purchase it myself. So amazing! I'm still in shock and can't believe it's in my kitchen... Thank you ~ more than you can know!

Modeling my new mixer!

Look ~ it makes ice cream!

Nicholas' amazing flaming fingers!

All of us together celebrating my birthday!

My "silly" boy and I!

...with Benjamin and Kirstin

How does he do this?

Anybody want to play? Look, I have a monkey...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prayers & Squares work day...

The second Saturday of each month, a few ladies gather together for our monthly Prayers and Squares workday. This established ministry (but new to our church) makes lap size quilts and we prepare them to be tied - instead of quilted, but leave the ties untied . When a prayer need ~ serious health crisis, death in the family, etc is brought to the attention of the pastoral staff; one of them contacts the person in need of prayer and asks them if they would like to receive a prayer quilt. If they agree, the pastoral staff lets the congregation know about the prayer need at a particular service and the prayer quilt is laid out for people to come and pray for that person after the service and then tie a tie (representing their prayer). When all the ties are tied, the quilt is presented to the recipient!

I pray for the 'unknown' recipient as I choose fabrics and while I sew the quilt top together. Then, 80-100 people pray for the recipient and the quilt gets "tied". That's a lot of prayer! It's a wonderful ministry and I'm really excited to see how God will develop this ministry in our church.

Here's a quick look at our January workday ~ Deborah (our group leader), Beth and I all worked on quilts. We have the added blessing of fellowship while we work. We discovered there is no heat in the workroom, so I think I'll take along my portable oil heater next month ~ on Valentine's Day!

Beth working on one of her three quilts...

Deborah working on one of her quilts (she has multiple going too). I love this pattern and want to try it myself!

...and mine! Sewing together blocks in a row. I've got two quilts I'm working on. My goal is 8-12 quilts this year. We're hoping to draw more people into this ministry ~ as prayer quilts are not only for people in our congregation, but for people in our neighborhood and people that are known by someone in our congregation or even... a friend of a friend of a friend. As long as they are willing to accept a prayer quilt as a gift from our church and have their prayer request shared publicly.

There's nothing like touching others through prayer and seeing God work in the lives of those around us!

Want to learn more ~ go to:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A look back to the end of 2008...

Haven't had a lot of inspiration to blog lately. Think I'm still recovering from the holidays and the crazy weather we had in Seattle. So thankful the snow is finally gone, but dealing with lots of rain and wind now!

Guy time! Playing Age of Empires II in Nick's room...

From another angle

Cousins! Benjamin, Elizabeth, Nicholas and Zachary

Blaine trying to "copy" Nicholas

Celebrating New Year's Eve together ~

Nicholas, Benjamin, Bobby, Elizabeth and JoJo!

Playing duets!

I have no idea...

Excited for 2009!

I'm slowly trying to get back into a routine... Just been really tired lately and not alot of energy ~ though I'm hearing the same from many other people, so hoping it will get better soon!