August 26, 2009

I bake at night...

Pumpkin Bread (we planted our pumpkin seeds the beginning of May, so we have ripe pumpkins)2 cups pumpkin pulp (bake half pumpkin, scrape flesh from skin)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (99 cents at Trader Joe's)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur's)
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts

Mix wet ingredients in large bowl, then dry ingredients in smaller bowl, then pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix thoroughly. Makes 12 muffins and 4 small loaves (I use the Pampered Chef mini-loaf stoneware) for me... Bake at 350 for 15-25 minutes (muffins are done quicker).

*We do not have central air in our house...we used 1 window unit air conditioner a few times this summer, but have gotten used to the warm weather. Anyhow, I certainly don't want to contribute more heat to the already hot house, so bake at night, or early morning, when it's cool...Olivia discovered this little fellow on the bouquet of flowers we had in the middle of our's going to be a monarch. They love milkweed. Getting fatter and fatter...

We spent a few hours at the park yesterday, visiting friends...isn't that a lovely picnic spot?
Olivia walking their new puppy...

August 21, 2009

Expired driver's license?

Oops! Got a postcard in the mail saying my driver's license expired a few weeks ago...yes, we were on vacation, driving out west on my birthday...I am now 32. Costs $24 for renewal here in Ohio. So, here's the new one (notice all the pink, my husband wasn't isn't thrilled about it):

Wednesday we celebrated the Lord's Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor, and in our church, everyone brings baskets of fruit to be blessed afterwards. It's one of my most favorite traditions! I took some wonderful photos last year, and was disappointed because I forgot my camera...

Don't these petit fours look divine? Well, believe it or not, they're vegan. Check out the recipe. My dad's birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I think I'm going to try to make these for him!

August 17, 2009

Summer evening walks...

* if you didn't see my {change purse} giveaway...scroll down!

Yesterday we took the training wheels off Olivia's bike (a friend came over, who is just 5 and can ride without training wheels), so we're working on that...

I had to plant some pretty flowers by the compost bin.

That sunflower wasn't too tall...most of them are getting really tall...6 feet or so.

Rob is tilling up a portion of the garden, where the lettuce and onions were...we are getting in LOTS of tomatoes right now. Anyone want a pumpkin? This is the first year we ever planted pumpkins....guess a bit early.

{change purse} giveaway

*share a recent good book you read...for a chance to win this cute little {change purse} handmade by me

On these hot and quite humid days, I get so tired (we do not have air conditioning) and tend to read more than do anything physical. So far this month, I've read:

  • The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan (good book about an Arab and a Jew...I kept hoping they'd get married, non-fiction)
  • Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra (wow, great book, emotional, just wish the ending were happier, but I think it's realistic)
  • Addition by Toni Jordan (funny book about a girl who is addicted to counting everything)
  • Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center (such a REAL book, I felt myself connecting to the main character)
  • Second Honeymoon by Joanna Trollope (honestly I got this book from the library, because I liked the cover...silverware, but it was okay, good ending)
  • What Matters Most by Luane Rice (reading currently, recommended from a friend)
There are a few books I have on "hold" at the library:
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Mermaid's Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (I really liked Secret Life of Bees)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

August 12, 2009

Russian Fest

September 5, 2009

* I'll be there...hope to see you! Here is a link to our church website.

Last night we met up at church and my sister got supplies to make these cute was lots of fun. I am also sewing little change purses...very simple.

* check back soon for a giveaway (especially if you want a magenta corduroy change purse)!

On the way to Mt. Rushmore, in the Blackhills of South Dakota, we stopped to take a photo. I used the hood of the car to prop the camera and used the timer to take quite a few family photos while on our trip out west.

Last week, my little nephew, Isaac, was baptised...we were on vacation, but are blessed to see him much more often than my sister Mary and her husband Andrey (who was the Godfather) who live in Canada. They had a 3 day weekend and went to a friends wedding...that's where that nice photo of the two of them was taken! That turquoise necklace used to be our grandmothers.

We went to Yellow Springs yesterday and thought the brick work on the front of this gift shop was amazing! Of course, we went to Young's dairy and got ice cream cones. We met up with Zoya and little Harriett was a nice get-together, the weather was great and only until we headed home did it start to rain!

August 8, 2009


It feels so good to be back home again (isn't that a song by John Denver?)...well after 2 weeks on the road, camping 13 nights...I really missed my comfy bed, and the luxury of having a washer/dryer, a sink, flush toilet, hot shower, etc. While we were in Yellowstone, the campsite was just $12 a night, but that's primitive!

I added photos to here to see the Yellowstone album! We drove from OH, through IN, IL, IA, MN on I-90, to SD, WY, then on the way home through NE on I-80, which was quite boring, but saved us a few hours.

Yes, that's snow on the was in the 80s down by the lake, though! We got to see bison, pronghorn (deer that can actually outrun a cheetah!), a grizzly bear eating yellow flowers on a hillside, osprey, a bald eagle, a black bear, a Clark's nutcracker, ground much nature, it was amazing.