Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

It's our first Halloween in our new house so I'm anxiously awaiting trick or treaters (as I was writing this sentence our first two rang the doorbell!).  I love seeing the kids dressed up in their costumes.  It's especially exciting to be greeting trick or treaters at our house because we have a lot more kids in our neighborhood than my parents do in their neighborhood.  I told my parents I'd count how many kids we got so we could compare.

We've gone all out this year, decorating the front door, carving pumpkins, and getting lots of candy for trick or treaters.  We also embraced the holiday food.  I've made three batches of Pumpkin Fluff (a recipe that my friend Nancy gave me), eaten peanut butter caramel dip with some apples, and even tried Witches' Brew, which is a spiced red wine that you heat up to drink.  

The pumpkin fluff tastes like the inside of a pumpkin pie.  You can eat it on its own or with graham crackers.  I think it's better the second day because the pudding has a chance to set up a little more so it's thicker.  The Witches' Brew was different than I expected, but I'm going to give it another try.  I actually think I like it better cold than hot, but you can drink it either way.

Have a great Halloween and check out the recipe for pumpkin fluff below.

Pumpkin Fluff (It's technically called Pumpkin Cloud, but I like the name Pumpkin Fluff better...)
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I substituted allspice because I didn't have nutmeg)
2 packages vanilla instant pudding
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
cool whip

Combine all ingredients with a mixer.  Blend in cool whip.  Best served as a dip with graham crackers, though my students at school were dipping brownies into it.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall projects

We've been doing lots and lots of projects around the house the past few weekends.

First, we ripped out the ugly juniper bushes we had out front and replaced them with boxwood bushes.

I took this picture before we planted the last one.
There's another one in the middle now.
We also planted some alium, tulips, and crocuses in the same flowerbed in front of the bushes.  The project took a lot longer than it should have because we had to move all of the rocks that were in the flower bed, which took a long time...

Then, we moved inside and set up a wrapping paper station in the closet of my craft room.
Andrew was nice enough to help me put it together.
Before I was storing my wrapping paper and supplies in a tupperware bin in the guest room closet.  When I needed to wrap something, it was a pain to get to everything.  This is so much better because everything is so easy to get to.  The whole thing is just a piece of peg board, some hooks, and some dowel rods to make wrapping presents for Christmas so much easier.  The clear buckets that I have my ribbon in are from Michael's.  (I'm really, really, really excited about it!)

This weekend we decorated the front door for Halloween!
You can't see it, but there's another pumpkin behind the bush on the left.
We'll be carving them later this week.
We started decorating after we went to pick out pumpkins and found these awesome purple, sparkly spiders.  Andrew was nice enough to let me buy two of them!
I LOVE them!
I can't wait to give out candy to trick or treaters at our house!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


"I am the work of your life, you are the work of mine. That's what love is!" -from The Last Station

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Enjoying the flavors of Fall

This is the recipe that I've been using for acorn squash from Simply Recipes.  It's simple and delicious!

Classic Baked Acorn Squash Recipe


  • 1 Acorn squash
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
  • Dash of Salt


1 Preheat oven to 400°F.
2 Using a strong chef's knife, and perhaps a rubber mallet to help, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don't burn and the squash doesn't get dried out.
3 Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. Dribble on a teaspoon of maple syrup to each half.
4 Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.
Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much squash you like to eat.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why go to church?

I admit it.  I have been slacking about going to church the past few weeks.  I’ve decided to sleep in or take time to relax instead of getting up and going.  But this morning I got a text from our contemporary worship leader telling me she was going into the hospital to have her baby (yay!) and asking if I could come sing at the service this morning.  Well now I had to go because I had a commitment to fulfill.
And it was a good thing I went because the sermon was all about our commitment to the church.  The minister said that we have NOTHING more important than our commitment to our faith and our church because it is the only thing that really matters in life. He reminded us that there is NO GOOD EXCUSE to not participate in church.  It was something that I already knew but I needed to be reminded of.  
The part of the sermon that really got to me was when the minister told the story of Anne Porteous, who was a founding member of the church.  (She and her husband, Al, “adopted” my family when my mom had to have open heart surgery because they knew we didn’t have any family in town.  They have ever since been known as our adopted grandma and grandpa.) He talked about the passion that Anne and Al had when they were founding the church.  She told the minister that there hasn’t been a day that she has come to Orchard Park and not felt that passion about the church and the people in it.  I loved being reminded of where the church started.  It makes me that much more excited to be a part of it and help decide where it will be going.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trying out tumblr

I decided to try out tumblr.  I jsut started and am still trying to get the hang of it, but if you wanna check it out you can do that here.