Monday, December 22, 2008

Enjoying Cold Days in St. Louis

Hello from St. Louis! I have been feeling under the weather for the past week or so, but I am happy to report that I feel refreshed and happy being home. It has been really cold and snowy here and I love how that makes it feel like winter time. For me, this is how I remember Christmas time growing up.
I know our tendency is to rush around this time of year as we try to get everything prepared for Christmas. I feel compelled to pray for myself and everyone that we would take time to reflect on Christ and know His wonder! May His purpose in coming to this earth and His love encourage our hearts . The greatest news is that He did come to draw us to Himself and He will come again to glorify us one day!

Kurtis, Lara, Mom, Lynn, and Pete


Pete, Lynn, Christy, Dad, Lara, and Kurtis

Friday, December 12, 2008

"Songs for Christmas"

I love this time of the year because Christmas music is playing nonstop! A few years ago my sister and her husband gave us Sufjan Stevens Songs for Christmas box set! I was tired of the same Christmas music I had and needed a change. I love these Cd's! There are some classic songs and then there are some hilarious ones. I find myself singing along with the songs and this makes me happy. If you are looking for something new I highly recommend this. Enjoy the video below!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Thankful Heart

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever."
Psalm 107:1

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Kurtis' parents and each year I am reminded of how good the Lord is to us. As I look back on this year it was hard, but in the midst of the pain we saw joy and hope. When we first heard the news that Kurtis was being laid off we both were very scared and I didn't want to give thanks to the Lord. As we continued through the long journey we were reminded of His goodness through His Word, friends and family comforting us, and drawing closer to one another. It is so awesome how the Lord handpicked Kurtis' new job. He is more satisfied in his new position. Even during the valleys when you feel like you are falling a part...I want to learn to give thanks to the Lord! He is making all things NEW.

What are you thankful for? or What valley in your life has brought joy, thankfulness, and hope?

I love my sweet hubby

The edible turkey appetizer

Dad, Mom, Me, and Kurtis

Aren't we cute?

Monday, November 24, 2008

St. Louie

I had a wonderful week in St. Louis. It was nice to leave the 80 degree weather behind and enjoy some fall/winter weather. I loved wearing my warm and cozy sweaters, scarves, coats, and ugg boots. I was able to spend quality time with family and friends and get some R&R as well. A good friend is in the hospital with some complications with her pregnancy and it was a blessing to be able to help her. I left feeling refreshed and refueled!


Visiting Avril in the hospital

Jacqueline, Carolyn, and the twins! I can't believe they are
10 months.
(I am holding Caden and Carolyn is holding Carson)




A few weeks ago on Extreme Makeover Home Edition the crew renovated this coffee shop in St. Louis for a very deserving disabled man. He is a precious Christian! It was fun to see it in person!

My sweet Mom

Enjoying a cozy fire

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Backyard Is Done

Kurtis has completed the backyard! I am in St. Louis and I can't wait to see it when I return. The pictures look great and I am so excited not to look at dirt anymore. We are looking forward to entertaining and having out of town company!

In St. Louis...Debbie

Jacqueline, Me, Caden, Carson, and Carolyn


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dad in Tucson

My dad came out to visit us for a long weekend! We had a wonderful time with him and did a lot of fun things. We took a drive down to Tubac and looked at all of the shops and I showed my dad Tubac Golf & Spa Resort where Kurtis took me for our 1st Anniversary! We introduced my dad to a fun dice game called Farkle and I turned out to be the Farkle champion!. We all love playing games, so that was a fun way to spend our spare time. Blanco is one of Kurtis and my favorite restaurants. We enjoyed the yummy food and the beautiful view! We took a day trip to Sonoita, which is part of Arizona's wine country! It was a beautiful drive. I never thought Arizona would have wineries. We were a little skeptical, but were all surprised how much we enjoyed the wine tasting. It was fun to buy local wine. We hope to return some time soon!


Dinner at Blanco

Kurtis & Dad

Lunch with Kurtis' parents and my dad at Paradise Bakery & Cafe!

Our first wine tasting in Sonoita!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

UofA Homecoming

Last Saturday we went with our good friends Pete & Jenna' to the football game. Kurtis graduated from the UofA 5 years ago and it was fun to walk around the campus. We all went down early and got a bite to eat on University and then enjoyed the festivities. The ARIZONA Wildcats played was a close game, but we lost 10 to 17! At lease it wasn't a blowout!

Beer and food at Gentle Ben's

Wilbur & Wilma

Go Wildcats!


Kurtis, Me, Pete, and Jenna'

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Backyard Work-In-Progress

We decided to hire a landscaper to help us with the design of our backyard! Just this last weekend the mason started on the retaining wall for our planter and the border for our grass made out of pavers. The next steps include new irrigation, a custom rock fountain, exterior lighting, plants, grass, and rock! We are looking forward to entertaining in our new backyard!

The retaining wall

The wall is it needs to be painted!

The mason leveling out the pavers for the border!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Autumn and Halloween Treats & Sweets

I love trying new recipes and CookingLight is a great place to get them. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons and I love seeing the leaves change and sipping on hot apple cider. I have been sad because the weather in Arizona has been so hot. I plan to take a trip back home (Mid-West) and will hopefully see all the beautiful leaves. Here are a few recipes I am going to make for some upcoming parties. They are simple, but fun and I think you will enjoy them!

Pumpkin-Cranberry Muffins

These moist muffins get a burst of sweet and sour notes from the cranberries. This recipe doubles easily to feed a crowd. These are best warm, but you can make ahead to jump-start holiday cooking. Bake up to one month in advance, and place in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Let the muffins thaw at room temperature, and then microwave at MEDIUM-HIGH about 30 seconds to heat through.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg
2/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped (such as Crasins)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and next 5 ingredients (though cloves); stir well with a whisk.
Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Fold in cranberries.
Place 12 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon batter into prepared cups. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack. Makes 1 dozen!

Witches' Hats

1 (4.25-ounce) tube orange or red decorating frosting
1 (11 1/2-ounce) package fudge-striped shortbread cookies (32 cookies)
1/2 (13-ounce) package milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped (32)
Pipe a small mound of frosting in center of each chocolate-covered cookie bottom; press a chocolate kiss on frosting. Pipe a frosting band and bow around base of each kiss.

Caramel Apples

6 large Granny Smith apples
6 wooden craft sticks
1 (14-ounce) bag caramels, unwrapped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon water
2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate morsels
Pecan halves (optional)
Wash and dry apples; remove stems. Insert craft sticks into stem end of each apple; set aside.
Combine caramels, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water in a microwave-safe glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH 90 seconds or until melted, stirring twice.
Dip each apple into the caramel mixture quickly, allowing excess caramel to drip off. Roll in chopped pecans; place on lightly greased wax paper. Chill at least 15 minutes.
Microwave chocolate morsels at HIGH 90 seconds or until melted, stirring twice; cool 5 minutes. Pour chocolate where craft sticks and apple meet, allowing chocolate to drip down sides of apples. Press pecan halves onto chocolate, if desired. Chill 15 minutes or until set.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Big Project...Complete!

I just finished my wedding scrapbook! It took me over a year to complete. Wow! Given that it was such a huge task, now that it is done I feel almost sad. As I have done many pages I find the process very therapeutic and good for my soul. I have decided it is time to start a new scrapbook! The pictures below represent the last few pages of the scrapbook! Enjoy!