Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas at the house on Chester Street

It's nearing Christmas - 15 days to go and our house has been Christmas ready for more than 2 weeks already! We love Christmas around here! Well I honestly thought it was just me that loved Christmas, and that Paul put up with it. But he keeps telling me how much he likes our house when it's decorated for Christmas - he remarks on it at least a couple times a week. He says it out loud because he knows how much I love hearing it, otherwise it would probably have remained in his head. Still though, it's something he loves too. Yay. And our students of course, they love it. That makes me very happy - plus they helped me decorate, while we listened to Christmas music and had apple cider. A perfect evening. So lets start at the front.

Our front entryway
The Christmas Tree's are leftover from a Starbucks Store holiday. They were discarded and a friend rescued them, then later gave them to me. I love them. 

I created this wreath in about 5 minutes! I hung a mini chalkboard (that I already had) from PYP ($8) inside a greenery wreath ($9) from Micheals. Then I strung some paper garland from Micheals ($1.50) and added a gold bow from Ikea (4 for $1.50). Easy and inexpensive!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Menu Plan Monday, December 8th

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
MondayChicken & Wild Rice Casserole
One of our students, Xiao, is heading back to China for two weeks. Last night was her last night at home for the next while, so our whole house hung out in the kitchen chatting for the evening after church. While we chatted I pulled together tonight's dinner - and in a super helpful move, Xiao spent the time pulling meat off the chicken for me to add to dinner. So helpful! 

I thought we had a meeting tonight so I made sure to have an easy dinner. Now that I've found out the meeting is actually next week I'm still super glad for an easy dinner. It's been a busy weekend. I look forward to eating quickly and easily so I can move on to other things I need to do, like finishing folding my laundry and sorting groceries. 

Tuesday: Tomato Basil Soup (Costco USA)

Tuesday I have Discipleship Group at 8pm, and really want to finish getting some groceries put away, as well as prepping rice for Wednesday's dinner. So an easy soup to heat up from Costco is a great answer. Warm and tasty (it's one of my favorites) it's a big hit in our house - especially when I serve it with garlic bread. 

Wednesday: Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki
Wednesday we had a doctors appointment at 4:30, and then a friend coming over for dinner and an evening with Paul, and I have a 7:30pm Women's Ministry meeting. This meal is easy and tasty - our house always loves it. It will be ready as soon as I get home, especially if I have the rice prepped the day before and only need to heat that up. 

Thursday: Costco Deli Flautas with Mexi Rice
Thursday I am seeing my sister, and since I want to be there by 6:45 easy dinner is important. I'll be using leftover rice from the night before to make Mexi Rice out of, and will heat up these tasty deli Flautas from Costco.

Friday night we have a friend's birthday party in the evening and I get to see two friends in the day as well. 

Saturday: YOYO
Saturday I hope to do some Christmas Baking (we'll see, resting might win) and then we have two parties in the evening - an engagement party and a birthday party. Thankfully they are a 5 minute drive a part so we can hit up both for a while!

Sunday: Crockpot Soup

Sunday is church - we have a few things to do in the day around the house, then church and will either have soup together as a house or will go out to eat with our students after church, since they like eating with our church friends. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Where wine & water meet: A girls weekend in Victoria

Last month I had the chance to have a getaway with some lovely ladies; some lovely sistah's to be exact. These are women I've served with at Anvil Island, women I've prayed with, women I've laughed copious amounts with, and women who have spoken life and truth to me in hard moments. This was our second year getting away together; we took a trip over to Victoria on Vancouver Island. We stayed at the World Mark by Wyndham along the edge of the harbour. We had stayed here previously and loved it, so getting to stay again was a real treat. The suites we rent there are generally well decorated, very comfortable and BEST OF ALL, come with their own HOT TUB right on the patio over looking the harbour. It's basically my dream come true. (It's a slightly cool hot tub, coming in at 101 degrees, and after checking with my doctor she said it's fine to be in, as long as I get out as soon as I overheat. This means a good 10-20 minute soak still happens and leaves me super super happy and my aching back feeling so much better. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Menu Plan Monday, December 1st!

Menu Plan Monday with Laura at Org Junkie

Upcoming week: 
Monday: Tilapia with roasted vegatables & pesto rice / Crockpot Potato-Cauliflower Soup
Tonight is women at prayer - our monthly time of prayer as women at our church. While I'm not keen to be out tonight (it's been so busy and I just want to stay home) I am keen to worship and pray with my sisters, so I am choosing in faith to go and engage and see where that takes us. God always shows up at these things, because He is with us. 

I also plan to throw some soup into the crockpot overnight so I can use it for lunches this week - with the chilly weather, warm lunches seem like the most loving option. And this creamy soup really tastes wonderfully despite the fact that I can pump it full of some veggies. 

Tuesday: Greek Chicken Wraps with Rice

Tuesday is LifeGroup. I've been craving this amazing greek sauce lately, so I'm excited to prepare it for our group again. I always serve it with greek salad. I think this time I'll find some gluten free pita for Lindsay and I so we can engage, as the pita really makes it. 

Wednesday: Ham with roasted vegetables & potatoes
Wednesday is an at home night for doing stuff and resting. I've got the ham for this marinating in the freezer from my last batch of ham, so I'll just need to chop veggies, chop & boil potatoes (to mash with boursin) and serve. I like dinners that I can get in the oven then walk away from while they cook (so I can change or do some house jobs). After dinner I plan to finish cleaning out my bedroom closet and organizing there - trying to get the room totally tidy and under control well before baby comes. 

Thursday: Crockpot Corn Chowder
Thursday night is sister night which always means a crockpot dish is most helpful. I usually try to prep these the night before so I'm not scrambling in the morning, which usually means I don't end up making the dish. So evening prep is a must! 

Friday is Paul's 30th birthday - we're having a birthday date that night. We'll go to the VIP theatre for the new Hunger Games movie so Paul can have a beer while he watched - I'll enjoy the appie items and popcorn. 

In the morning I'll be taking a trip to the states to get a bunch of stuff I need for the two big parties on the weekend, as well as stocking up for christmas - I'll pick up my turkey and ham on this trip so I don't have to come down again. 

Saturday: YOYO
Saturday we're having Paul's 30th birthday party. He's mandated that there be no decorations and limited food prep. I'm only picking up some easy things in the states for this - and we've asked some friends to bring items to share. We're providing beer & wine for the party; we bottled two great types of beer, a porter and a lager to share. I'll also be picking up something non-alcoholic for those of us that can't/don't indulge. I'm excited to celebrate with friends and family - Paul is a wonderful husband, I am so thankful for him. The party is a roast, so we'll get to hear funny stories and thoughts and hear him made fun of, as well as all the normal birthday kindness. It's going to be great. 

Sunday: Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

Sunday is not a restful day, but it will be an fun one! We're celebrating our dear friend Ana as she prepared to have her baby boy. We're throwing her a Spanish Baby Shower with a Nacho Libre theme - we prepped decor stuff last week and oh man, it's looking amazing. Look out world - this party is going to be awesome. I can't wait to bless her and show her how very loved she is, and how cared for her little boy will be. After cleaning up from the party we'll head to church and I'm pretty sure we'll head straight to bed after all that. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Insecurity: a landmine of feelings

Sparkling water with raspberries, timeless pop rock hits in the kitchen, the smell of onions and garlic cooking away in the oven with chicken and's a girls weekend away in Victoria and I am feeling the restfulness. We're at a place that overlooks the Songhees in Victoria, BC, near Dallas Road and the Inner Harbour. Great friends, great conversations, lots of laughter and even more food.

It's amazing how insecurity can still pop up, even in the most ideal of settings. I often am amazed at the power that it has over us. At times you can see insecurity in a wave around the room - different reactions to it, of course, but still it engages us. Some get quiet for a moment, others lash out with a quick word, and still others talk louder and more confidently to beat it away. Even in these safe places, it plagues us, especially as women.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Austin the Trip, Part 2

Thank you all for your amazing and kind words of support and excitement yesterday; it has all meant so much! We are so excited! Now to pick up from where I left off the other day, the final section of our Austin trip!

Sunday we were up and off to Hamilton Pool.This is a sight I have wanted to see for ages now - it's less than a 10 minute "trek" down to the "pool" and it's definitely worth the parking fee ($15) and the walk. It's geographically really interesting, and just plain beautiful. 


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