Friday, February 26, 2010

Young People's retreat

The weekend of President's Day was youth group winter retreat.  Which means Eric and I spent Valentine's weekend apart each with a cabin full of teenages, sleeping on bunk beds with 2 inch thick 'matresses' [...if you could really say we slept at all!]

The retreat is put on by RYS and there were 4 main URC churches involved, with two other smaller URCs that had kids in attendance.  our group was over 100 people!


The camp we stayed at was Pali Mountain and it was pretty nice.  The food was really great for camp food, and they won some kind of best camp food award in 2009.

I got up early the first morning and took pictures of the sunrise
img 083

The boys cabin across the way.
img 084

Kelli (another seminary wife) and I had the junior and senior girls on the top floor of the cabin and another leader in our group had the freshman and sophomores downstairs.

img 101

Even though there was quite a bit of snow on the ground, it got up to the high 40's during the day so the snow was heavy and slushy.  But it was perfect for snowballs and forts.

img 086
(only in CA would have kids playing in the snow in t-shirts!

img 087

img 109

The kids also did a lot of sledding, and built ramps and runs all weekend for it.

img 089


Our theme for the week (the messages and Sunday's services) was wisdom. Bill and Robert Godfrey both spoke on Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job.
img 102

We had a couple of group games one night...this is balloon volleyball with 100 people...



First married Valentines....can you see the lack of sleep?

All in all it was a great weekend...we loving working with the youth group at church!

The whole crew

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Grammy and Gramps come to visit

During a rather dreary and rainy January, gma and gpa trekked from AZ to visit us West Coasters for a week (as well as see some friends and other family) It was so nice to see them, and show them around our town and Southern California.
We hung out a little bit during the week but between our church commitments and their friends, we didn't see them much.

On Friday, they stopped by to see the seminary and I showed them around.  Then they were off with Eric to the Wild Animal Park.  Leave it to grandpa to take this photo of a bird of paradise, but no real animals :-)

Saturday we met up early-ish for coffee and then trekked up to Julian where we explored the cute little town.  Julian is a former mining town turned tourist town with lots of fun shops, antiques, collectibles, kitschy home and garden stores, and old fashioned cafes and diners. Grammy and I both remarked how much Auntie Dee would have loved it.

img 026

One of many shops with kitschy collectibles.  But grammy and I both found something!
img 072

img 078

Eric and Gramps waitied patiently while we girls ventured into every shop

img 075

We stopped at the Julian Cafe and Bakery for lunch
img 076

They served our drinks in cowboy boot shaped glasses...loved it!
img 077

We ended our time in Julian with a piece of pie to share, and took a whole pie home (wild mountain berry and boysenberry apple respectively, if you must know :-)) for Sunday dessert.

img 080

We spent most of the day in Julian, so afterwards we relaxed at our house for an hour or so, before heading west to watch the sunset from Oceanside Pier.


grammy was cold. eric was goofy. [so, nothing new]


Doesn't this make you want to come out and visit us?


How bout now?

Don't let the wind and jackets fool you. We are wimpy californians. It was probably low 50s

grammy got really cold so I gave her my scarf

we go close enough to a pelican to pet it.

At the very end of the Oceanside Pier is a 50's style diner called Ruby's where we ate a light dinner.

I love when people come visit us becuase we do touristy things we wouldn't otherwise.

On Sunday, I made dinner and had Eric's parents over.
[the sunset pictures and those that follow are grandpa' camera battery died]

I had an itchy nose! and yes, I washed my hands before finishing the food.

Eric's mom brought me tulips. She was thinking of her daughter-in-law's dutch family :-)


Monday night was another rousing night of card games and dessert since grammy and gramps had lupper with grammy's niece.

Thanks for coming to visit us Grammy and Gramps! We loved having you
& we would love to have more of you here....hint, hint :-)

*As you read this we'll be on our way to Tuscon, AZ to visit some of Eric's relatives for a very short weekend.  Hoping also to see my first rodeo!  Blog post on our youth group retreat and AZ weekend to come!*

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cooking at our casa

I wanted to share some of the food that's being made over here in Casa Chappell.

When we first settled in and i started cooking, I was really interested in trying a bunch of new recipes--both from the new cook books I'd received and from a few of my favorite blogs.  Having my own kitchen, being the grocery shopper again was a really fun experience, so I continued to experiment with different foods almost every evening.

Now over 7 months into our marriage, I've realized I've been 'experimenting' for quite some time.  Other than our busy nights (when we have 30-45 minutes to make dinner and eat it) and Eric's favorite...stir fry, I haven't made a single meal twice! (and even with stir fry and 'quick meals' I do some sort of variation)

So i decided to continue to challenge...for one whole year I'm not going to make the same meal twice.  After the first year, I'm going to take our favorites from year 1, but still try to make new meals once or twice a week.  I love the flexibility of trying new things, and adding things to our 'regulars' that we never would have guessed we liked!

For whoever's interested, here's a little taste of what's been on our menu the last few months, with recipes linked.
(sorry I got lazy and didn't edit these pictures)

Pasta Primavera

img 011


Hearty Beef Stew
(it almost got cold enough for this!)

img 063

Creamy Mushroom Risotto


Chicken Broccoli stir fry ( a variation from what I normally make)

img 070

The Mushroom Soup
photo by The Pioneer Woman

Dinner Rolls (from scratch!)

img 060

img 061

Pasta Carbonara
Photo and Recipe from The Pioneer Woman & Pastor Ryan, respectively:

Other meals I've made but haven't photographed:

Mandarin Beef Stir Fry
Ginger Peanut Pork
Salmon with Spinach Sauce
Chicken Parmigiana
Fried Zucchini
Chicken Scallopine
Cranberry Chicken Salad
Garlic Chicken stir fry
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
Rosemary Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Party Pinwheels
Blackberry Cobbler

I promise to do a better job at taking pictures of our food!  And then making the pictures look nice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

First Married Christmas: celebrating with the in-laws

This post got lost in cyber-space!  It's been waiting to go up since January 2!  Sorry peeps.  
I think I was actually waiting for a certain video of a certain cute wiener dog opening her presents, from a certain younger brother in law...whom I won't mention here :-)

We had a fun Christmas celebration the Saturday before Christmas with Eric's family because we left early the next week to IL to see mine.

Eric's mom and I made a big dinner with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce--the works and enjoyed it at candle light with champagne...



Then we commenced with opening presents--pookie acted as the baby of the family and kept us all amused.  She knew which was her present and ripped it and shook until she got to her new toy!

Also some very happy news--I got a new camera!  I am so thrilled with it!  Most of the photos you see on the blog from here on out were taken on my new Canon Powershot SD 780 IS.  

After gifts, a new family tradition was started of playing board games during our Christmas celebration (before video games).
After a couple rounds of Fact or Crap, the boys got into the new video games and I cuddled with Pookie on the couch.



Later we broke out some sweet home videos.
It was a fun relaxing evening to kick off our Christmas celebrations!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Year

For weeks before the holidays I had begun planning a big New Year's bash to top all others, hoping many of our local friends (that don't usually make plans) would be available.
Due to the busyness of the holidays, and my lack of foresight with the time I actually got the word out, most people we had planned on being guests had made plans elsewhere.

A few of our good friends were able to make it, though Thomas had to leave for work at 11:40pm.  We rang in the new year a bit early, but it was a good time!
We played Eric's new card game, Bang, and watched the countdown via you-tube from NYC's ball drop.  It was a laid-back New Years and Eric has finally convinced me that it is an over-rated holiday!  I do miss the New Year's Day family parties though!

The spread:

Bacon wrapped water chestnuts (pre-cooking)

cream cheese veggie rolls

mint chocolate dipped milanos and peppermint merinques



and friends:


What more could we ask for?
Related Posts with Thumbnails