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Monday, August 27, 2012

Hello, Blog: Scenes From A SoCal Vacay

We've had a busy, full summer.

Ashlyn started soccer last week.

The girls start school this week.

Hope Kids had their New Testament Graduation ceremony yesterday.

The craziness of fall is upon us.

I'm excited.

I like crazy.

We took a trip to Southern California a few weeks ago.

It's an annual event.

Thanks to my generous parentals.

Hello, Newport Coast Villas coy pond.

I think the girls love the coy more than Disneyland.

The family's all together!

And eating.

With Princess Celestia.

So standard.

Poolside flirting.

Discussing if and how long salt water species could survive in chlorinated water.

Make it stop.

Sunset dinner at Ruby's.

Shirley temple shakes and Frito chili bags.

Poolside BBQ at the Burns residence.

Blog friend turned real friend.

Twin husbands.

Fun night.


Tinkerbell shades was excited.

Radiator Springs, Population 57.8 billion.

But worth it.

The new Cars ride was magical.

Our car raced my parents and Ashlyn and they won.

Ashlyn called us losers.

And said "you guys couldn't do it."

Thank you, Ashlyn.

My dad's Disneyland motto?

Just say no to food courts.

So we ate our monogrammed pastries and threatened our children to behave like the fancy people.

It's a Small Air-Conditioned World.

Our favorite.

With smoothies.

Also, our favorite.

Fun, full day.

We all slept well that night.

And spent the next few days relaxing.

Participating in poolside extracurriculars.

Rainbow tye-dye.

All kinds of hippie awesome.

Coke breaks in the shade.

Swimming is tough work you know.

Sneak-away Fashion Island shopping trips for the girls.

Mom doesn't understand selfies.

And beach days.

Building sandcastles.

Digging for sand crabs.

Heaven for my rainbow-toed girls.

Thanks so much, Mom and Dad.

We love you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Birthday For Sudan. And My Favorite Enchilada Recipe.

As a family, we've been trying to think of creative ways to contribute to the Hope For Sudan campaign.

If only we had 25,000,000 pennies in our sofa.

I checked.  We don't.

Dave suggested we throw a party for his birthday this year.

In lieu of gifts, guests were to bring donations towards Hope For Sudan.

First I took his temperature.

Then I realized this fundraising effort was serious biz.

Let me try and explain.

He likes _____________________ more than birthday parties for himself.

I'm trying to fill in that blank with something sufficiently terrible and I can't.

Black bean and tomato casseroles?

Extensive dental work?

Traffic on Highway 5?

The Los Angeles Dodgers?

Nothing fits.

Being the guest of honor is not his favorite.

But our family and friends like to celebrate him.

And he loves helping people more than he hates birthday parties.

It is was an easy opportunity to do our part in this effort.

Because if we're asking you to help.

We better be busy ourselves.

New favorite enchilada recipe courtesy of Meg.



Perfect for feeding people and making them happy when you're asking for lots of skrill.

That was tacky.

But totally true.

The puffs didn't hurt, either.

Our house has never been so full.


And figuratively.


In the very best way.

I was praying some fish and loaves action over the enchiladas.

And regretting my puff intake, pre-event.

Thank you to all who came and contributed.

And to those who couldn't come but contributed anyway.

We are overwhelmed at your generosity of heart.

The way you love my husband and our family.

And your willingness to help people you'll likely never meet.

$1,500 added to our effort.

Bringing our grand total so far to $15,499.55

So exciting.

I'm so glad you were born, Dave.

I hope you liked your party.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pintertest Kitchen 11: A Bridal Shower

Jamie is getting married next month.

She and her husband-to-be helped us plant Hope.

And serve on our worship team.

She is so passionate about Christ and a blessing to so many.

I'm excited to see what He has in store for these lovebirds.

Big things, I'm sure.

We celebrated her last Saturday.

With real family, church family and dear friends.

And it was fun to put my "bridal shower" pinboard to good use.

First, a disclaimer.

I was terrible about taking pictures of the food.

And by terrible, I mean I took none.

Primarily because I was preoccupied juggling cook times and temps.

And blow drying my hair 15 minutes before guests were supposed to arrive.

While waving a dish towel under our super sensitive smoke detector.

It was off to a hectic start.

Ikea framed invite and easy floral centerpieces for the decor.

With the exception of the limes and thanks to our backyard hydrangeas, I had everything on hand.

Adapted from two pins that are no longer active.

The picture was easy enough to copy without having to click over.

I saw this idea pinned a while back and thought it was so original and cute.

And I turned it into a game by letting Jamie pick the most creative idea.

Betsy was the big winner with this gem:

"Nerd night!  Dress up like nerds (think suspenders and taped glasses), go to your favorite museum
and end the night under the stars, picking out constellations."

Thank you bridesmaid, Haeley, for letting me steal your food picture.

You are a legit historian.

Pinned brunch recipes found here, here, and here.

Pinned dessert recipes found hereherehere and here.

Bacon Wrapped Artichoke Hearts a la Emily.

Everything else a la Trader Joe's.

Which should be pinned everywhere as a shower-thrower's lifesaving mecca.

Every item is Pintertest approved and highly recommended.

Easy, straight-forward recipes.

Yummy, crowd-pleasing results.

Especially the chocolate chip cookie dough dip.

And the puffs.

And the baked french toast.

Who's getting married next?

Happy shower day, glowing friend.

It was fun to celebrate you.