Sunday, December 30, 2007

One of the easiest and yummiest vegatable soups...

This has become my favorite soup. I don't generally like zucchini or cabage - but in this soup, it's very, very yummy.

This recipe makes about 8 bowls of soup. Pretty much all of the ingredients are optional and flexible. Personally I can't imagine it without the onion, carrots, cabbage and zucchini (and broth and spices, of course).
Actual soup in picture at right.



3 large [thinly sliced] carrots
1 large [diced] onion
3 cups of diced green cabbage
1 can green beans (or 1.5 cups of fresh green beans)
1 large zucchini [cubed]
2 tsp of minced garlic
Half a small can of tomato paste (I think it's a 6 oz. can)
Optional: 1/2 can of diced tomatoes [drained]
Optional: 1 cup of chopped celery

6 cups of broth (beef or chicken)

3 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt

Meat is optional:
Any type of beef or chicken works... we usually use some chopped up beef stew or roast meat. About 1 pound of meat.

Step 1:
Using olive oil in a large stock pot, saute' the carrots, onion, celery and garlic on low heat until soft... about 5-7 minutes.
At the same time, brown your beef in another skillet.

Step 2:
Add all other ingredients EXCEPT for the zucchini and bring to a boil.

Step 3:
After a boil is achieved, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Step 4:
Add zucchini and cook for another 3-4 minutes (the zucchini will become soft very quickly - you don't want to overcook it).
The next time we make this soup, we're going to try adding a package or two of ramin noodles.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007

I know you won't be able to see the actual gifts, but it's still a fun video to watch.

High Resolution
(You may want to click 'Play' and then pause it so it loads the video.)

Low Resolution

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Okay... it's been almost two weeks and I haven't gotten a chance to go over any details... so until then, these photos will have to get you by.

High Resolution

Saturday, December 15, 2007

You want advise from me????

Getting older is a strange thing. When you're younger, you can't wait to be a grown up. But when you're a grown up, there are times you don't feel it. I was listening to the radio the other day, and the DJ was talking about an article that he read about today's twentysomethings. He was saying that the people in their early twenties now are a lot less mature than their counterparts 30 years ago. With the ease of technology, and going to college on "Daddy's dime" has caused their maturity to slow. The DJ was interviewing a prominent Christian artist while discussing this information, and he asked her what it was that made her feel like a grown up for the first time. She had mentioned that she felt grown up for the first time on her 23rd birthday.

Although there are many times that I feel like a grown up (like every time I've had to price shop for major appliances such as washing machines and deep freezers), I still struggle with the feelings of being a kid. I feel young. In many ways, that's a great thing - I'm able to play without shame with my kids. Other ways, it's really been a hindrance.

I know I've written about such things recently, ( but I guess I just keep coming back to it. At what point are we grown up? At what point are we able to feel confident enough to share with others our wisdom. I am not considered old at 32, but at the same time, I'm not considered to be very young either. I don't exactly know where I fit at times, and how to go about sharing my experiences with others.

I'm learning more and more that I'm a writer by nature. This was not something that I wanted to be "when I grow up", but it's something I've become. In my writing, I want to share my experiences and revelations about the matters that are near and dear to my heart: marriage, parenting, and growing in God. I struggle, at times, with sharing things on these subjects. I really wrestle with wondering if I'm old enough, and wise enough to give advise on topics as monumental as these. What if what I write about parenting when the boys are young, and as they grow, things turn out to be the opposite of what I wrote about? What if I write about conflict resolution in marriage, and then have a huge fight with Michael that I can't resolve in the manner that I once wrote about. I don't want to be a hypocrite, especially with the life altering subjects that God has placed on my heart. But I'm hearing Him tell me, more and more, that He's going to give me the wisdom, and He will work out all the details. I'm learning that as I seek Him more, the fear fades. As I walk in His will for my life, and write about the things that He has placed in my heart, then it is His wisdom I'm imparting to others - not my own.

Michael and I have long held a different belief of the verse Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." We've both been taught an interpretation of material things. If you follow God, He'll give you that nice car, or that big house. While that may be true - He does delight in giving you blessings, Michael and I have really felt a different heart behind that verse. We have felt God give us desires in our hearts. As we delighted in Him, He gave us the desire to be married to each other. As we delighted in Him, He gave us the desire to be parents. As we've delighted in Him, He gave Michael the desire to worship Him with music. As we've delighted in Him, He gave Michael the desire to pursue photography. And as we've delighted in Him, He's given me the desire to write about marriage, parenting, and growing in Him. He's given us the desires of our hearts.

And because of that desire that He's implanted in me, I'm going to trust Him with my words. I'm going to trust that as I write about marriage, parenting, and growing in Him, He will take those words and use them for His glory. I'm an imperfect human, and I will make mistakes. But He's a perfect God, and He will cause all things to work for good. Praise God for that!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ice Storm 2007

It's a bit cold here. The ice shut down everything around town. There was no power at our place for about 12 hours yesterday. Here's a video of some of the houses in our neighborhood.

You can also see some panoramic views of some photographs that I took....

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Random Thoughts for your Sunday

Driving back and forth to work now, I take a different route. Seeing the new sceniery has stirred 2 random thoughts every morning. I'm probably wierd for thinking this way, but these 2 things really bug me. Like baby squirrels, these seem to be things that are never seen. You know (at least one) of them exist, but I have yet to witness them personally.

I've never seen the price change on the gas station signs. They change, almost daily. But I've never seen it. This bugs me to no end! It's not only the fact that normally, the price goes down after filling up (I filled up on the way to work on Friday, and of course on my way home, the price was 2 cents less), it's just that I've never seen it happen. I wonder how they deal with customers filling up at the moment they want to change price - do they charge them according to what it was when they started? Or are they charged half and half? I don't know! On the list of things that I want to see before I die, I include seeing a gas station sign changing price before my eyes!

The other thing that I've noticed on the way to work are church names. If the church is named a number, it's always the first one. Always. First Lutheran Church. First Presbyterian Church. First Assembly of God. Now I know I haven't traveled that much in my lifetime, but this seems to be a common trend. I've never seen the 45th Church of the Nazarene. How does everyone get to be the first? Maybe I just haven't seen enough to know that there may be a "Second" somewhere.

I know, I'm goofy. :)