Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone. It has been such an eventful couple of weeks. First lots of Christmas gatherings and things. Then the huge snow/ice storm. I have had the hardest time getting to work every morning because of our insanely steep shaded driveway that will not thaw! I've had to park my car at the end of it, and Andy shuttles me down to it in the Volvo which we thankfully have not sold yet. Hopefully the snow will recede and we'll be able to sell it.
Super good news... I started my PERMANENT job at Norpac on Tuesday. My friend Sheri got another job at Corban, so I was just hired to take her spot permanently! I am so grateful to the Lord for this because come January 19th I would have been out of a job. And we all know that the job market is not really booming at this point. So now I'm covering 2 desks at work until January 19th, so I am super busy and very behind in my work at this point. I will not complain though, and I'll just enlist some help from my other co-workers.
I cooked a huge Christmas dinner on Saturday for our Jr. High staff. It took me all of Friday night and all day Saturday, but I finished right on time and all of the food was still hot. We had the works: Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, salad, carrots, apple pie, and chocolate cake. And I made everything but the chocolate cake from scratch. I absolutely love to cook, but that day really wore me out. Thankfully for normal Christmas/Thanksgiving gatherings, the whole family pitches in so one person is not in charge of cooking the entire dinner.
Speaking of family, the Pullen's are all here to celebrate Christmas. I'd better get up and shower. So Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you all remember Christ who humbled himself enough to come to earth and die on the cross. What a wonderful Christmas gift!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our crazy weekend

This weekend was crazy. It started on Friday when I got home from work and made 2 apple pies from scratch, which took me much longer than usual. Probably because I was dancing, singing, and having a grand 'ol time. Saturday morning we woke up early and drove to Roseburg through the snow where we met my parents and Grandma for lunch (I haven't seen her in 2 years or so). Then we drove back through the snow, stopped at Fred Meyer in Albany for some ugly Christmas sweaters, and took our pies to a Christmas party at our Pastor's house for all of the Foothills staff and elders. Sunday we got up and drove through the snow to church (we spun out once and landed in the ditch a little bit, it was kind of fun). After church we painted a room upstairs with our small group. Then we went home and cut our hair for our Jr. High 80's party that night. I cut Andy a mullet and he shaved a handle bar mustache and sideburns. Then I impulsively cut some bangs for myself so I could make them huge. Then we went to decorate for the party and partied the night away. It was a blast. Then I woke up today, had to figure out what to do with my new bangs, and went to work. I have barely had a second to relax, and next weekend won't be any better. Why is Christmas time always so busy??

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Anniversary surprise

Our anniversary was on Tuesday, and since we both had to work, we decided that we'd celebrate it on Saturday (today) by spending the day up in Portland. Originally we had planned on spending Friday night at Edgefield McMenamins (which is very cheap, by the way), but they were all booked up. And we didn't want to spring for a hotel, so we decided for just the day in Portland. So Friday night, Andy picked me up from work to "take me out to dinner." We started driving East on hwy 22, which is the opposite way from Salem and there's nothing out there. He said there was a new restaurant he wanted to take me to in Detroit (about 30 miles away, it has a nice lake). So we finally got to Detroit and he made a few turns. We were definitely not in restaurant area, but more like residential area in the forest. He finally stopped in front of a nice house and said, "Surprise! We're staying the night here!" It was the new vacation home of a family in our church and they let us stay there for free. It was super nice, and Andy had actually brought pizza for us to eat. And he had packed all of my things for me. It was a fantastic treat and a nice little anniversary vacation. I love finding fun things to do for free. And then today we went up to Portland and walked around a bunch downtown and stuff. It was a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Now for some fantastic, answer to prayer news!

My wonderful parents decided to pass on a blessing to us. They recently were given a nice truck, so they decided to give us their older car!!! So now we can sell our volvo to pay for getting it fixed and finish paying it off, and then we won't owe anything on our new Oldsmobile!!! It's a 1997 Cutless Supreme, and it's a rather nice car for us. Andy's been driving it around and we both like it. Not as much as our beloved Volvo, of course, but it's a great car. The Lord provides for us right when we need it. Always. Someday we'd like to get another Volvo, but just to let you all know, don't ever get a turbo!! It costs a bunch more to fix and is not worth it.

It's also our anniversary today. 2 years! It's been such a wonderful 2 years. On our anniversary every year, we read the letters that we wrote for each other on our wedding day. It always makes us cry, they are beautiful letters. I will treasure them always. I think we've come to a very special place in our marriage. At first it was the honeymoon phase, then it was getting used to living with each other, and now we're so happy to spend time with each other and we appreciate our differences. I'm not saying it's perfect, but we're falling into a lovely rhythm of life and happiness together. And our dog and cat provide much enjoyment to round out our little family. So here's to anniversaries!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Very very sad news (for us)

After much thought and consideration, we have decided to sell our beloved Volvo. It's just costing too much to fix all the time, and there are several things that still need to be done on it that would equal a lot more money. Stupid car. So we're going to buy a cheap, easy to fix car that won't kill our budget. Also, I might have some good news regarding my job, but it's still up in the air... I'll keep you posted.
In other news, I am heading to Revolve tomorrow and Saturday. It's a conference at the Rose Garden for middle school and high school girls and their moms, and for youth workers. So me and two friends are going up, staying in a hotel, and we're going to have a marvelous time. Oh, and a bunch of girls and their moms from our church are going too. I'm so excited to learn and hang out with people. Poor Andy has to stay at home with the dog and cat, but I think he'll be fine.
Our cat Kyle likes this clear plastic bag. I'm not sure where it came from, but he often thinks it's his bed and he sleeps on it for hours, and he plays with it all over the house. Yay for animals being entertained by extremely cheap (free) things.
I cooked pork chops and mashed potatoes and salad for dinner tonight. It was delicious. I often don't feel like cooking after I get home from work, but tonight was just a pork chop and white wine night. The wine was delicious. We don't have it very often at all.
I hope to soon give you exciting info about my job, but we'll see. Please pray that this possible situation works out. It would be a huge blessing to several people including me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Warning

I may do some complaining in this post.

Our stupid Volvo is broken again!!! We've fixed it about 3-4 times in the last two years, with our mechanic bills totaling about 1/2 the price that we originally paid for the volvo. And now it looks like it might be a whole bunch more money. And money is very tight. And I might not have a job after January! 
But the Lord has been teaching me a thing or two about not worrying about what we will eat, drink, wear (or drive). Maybe He's testing me. He has not let us down yet, and we've always been able to pay our bills on time. So I'm going to not worry and trust that it's in His hands.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A huge plus at work...

I found out the other day that in the morning at work they take a whole bunch of different frozen vegetables and vegetable blends and thaw them out to make sure they are correct amounts and are quality. They do it every day, then at lunch they throw out all of the food... that is unless we get to it first! So I had a big huge salad of corn, green beans, carrots, peas, black beans, red peppers, etc. And it was free! I'll probably do that every lunch, because it's free AND healthy. It was a tiny bit frozen still so I heated it up for a little in the microwave. And I brought home 2 ears of frozen corn for Andy and I to have for dinner. I've been stressing out lately at us not having enough money to buy lots of veggies because they're expensive, and the Lord provided!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Story of Stuff

Everyone needs to watch this.

www.storyofstuff.com

Pass it on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update on the Pullens

Andy and I have moved into a different house. And oh the difference it has made!! This house is out in the forest and is much roomier than the last one. We were so tired of being cramped (especially Jeffrey), and now we have room to move around without bumping into way too much furniture for a small house. I have to drive a little farther to work, and when I go running, I have to start up an extremely steep hill, and the house is incredibly hard to heat, but other than that, it's wonderful. We have a sauna in the bathroom, a much bigger kitchen, a living room, office, and a down stairs room with a very large tv that we haven't used yet. We're at this house until May because the owners have gone to Florida for the winter. God has given us so many blessings! I will post pictures of our house when I get a chance. For now, I have to go back to work.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A survey

The questions are as follows:
1. Where is your cell phone? plugged in
2. Where is your significant other? the office
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? in California
5. Your father? same
6. Your favorite thing? warmness
7. Your dream last night? that I was teaching police class to all of my friends
8. Your dream/goal? owning a health restaurant
9. The room you’re in? living room by the fire
10. Your hobby? cooking
11. Your fear? debt
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? debt free!
13. Where were you last night? Pietro's Pirate Pizza place - dressed as a pirate
14. What you’re not? bored
15. One of your wish-list items? sewing machine
16. Where you grew up? Grenada, CA
17. The last thing you did? burned a huge burn pile with Andy
18. What are you wearing? jeans & t-shirt, the usual
19. Your TV? off
20. Your pet(s)? Jeffrey and Kyle
21. Your computer? a Mac :)
22. Your mood? relaxed
23. Missing someone? parents & siblings
24. Your car? in the garage
25. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? ashland food co-op
27. Your summer? over
28. Love someone? always
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? while we were burning the burn pile
31. Last time you cried? i don't remember

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All my time is filled

with WORK!!! I'm so grateful to the Lord that He provided me with a full-time job that pays well. At the same time I wish that I didn't have to work so that I could take better care of our home. Since I started working, I've found it very hard to find the time to do things like dishes, laundry, and cleaning, much less knitting, doing fun projects, grocery shopping, etc. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I'm really enjoying my job, and I'm trying to keep the right attitude in focus and to be content with where I'm at. There will be a time for me to be home (hopefully) in the future and to raise a few kids, but that's not what God has for me right now. He's been teaching me a lot about having faith in Him and not doubting. Fear and doubt are the tools of the devil, not of God. He bestows strength and courage on us when we have faith and ask for them.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Work...

I just got home from an 8 hour day of work. Yay for earning money! My days are filled with a lot of numbers (since I work in the accounts department), lots of blue pieces of paper (soon some green and pink ones when I learn how to do those), lots of time on a PC (I hate PCs), and lots of times when I'm thoroughly confused. I think I'm getting it pretty fast, but I still have lots of questions on lots of things. I do mostly invoicing of orders from Norpac to places like Fred Meyer, Winco, Albertsons, etc. It also includes a lot of problem solving when anything is wrong with the order/shipping/quantities, etc. It's not too boring and today actually went by pretty fast. I get to come home for a 1-hour lunch every day, so that's nice. Today I ate curry with Andy and Jeffrey (except Jeffrey didn't have any). Jeffrey does not like it when Andy and I are both at work, he gets bored and lonely. Right now he's sleeping in front of the fire, one of his favorite things to do.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I got a job!!!

I got interviewed today by NorPac (a food processing company which is right down the street from our temporary house) and they hired me on the spot!! It's a full-time job, but it's only temporary while the actual person is on maternity leave for 4 months. But it's a job! And there might be another person on maternity leave after that, so that's up to 7 possible months of employment. And then if I have my foot in the door, I might get a more permanent job.

The only thing that's not so great is that I'm not sure I'll 100% enjoy my new job. It will be a lot of computer time doing invoices and things like that. I like working with people more, so we'll see how this goes. But I'm so thankful that the Lord has provided for us!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Small Group

We joined a small group with 6 other young couples 2 weeks ago, and it has been fantastic. If you're not currently in a small group, I highly suggest you find one. It's a great way to get to know people in a similar stage of life and to share what you're learning and how you're growing. Right now at our church we're having a series on sex. That's right. So small group time is very interesting and often very funny. It's fun to have other people to talk to who are going through the same things. And it's a great way for us to make new friends since we just moved to Stayton a few weeks ago.

I had a smashing interview today, so we'll see if I get a call back. There might be way more qualified candidates than me out there, but I think the interviewer really liked me. You never can tell though. Keep praying! I found out that the Vet hired someone else before they even interviewed me. How upsetting. I'm going in for an interview with them anyway in case that other person doesn't work out or they have a position open soon or something.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Washington Mutual


Yesterday our bank failed and was bought by Chase. I am very frustrated about the fact that every time something starts to look a little bit down, people freak out and withdraw everything they have from that thing (i.e. their bank). That is the sole reason that WaMu failed: everyone withdrew their accounts and they lost tons of money. We did not withdraw our money. We did not participate in helping WaMu fail. Our money is now safe and secured by Chase (as well as the Federal Government). If your money is FDIC insured, there is no chance that you will lose it. The worst case scenario is that you may have to go without it for 24 hours or so. I feel like talking to all of the people in the United States and urging them to not freak out at the drop of a stock, because that only causes it to drop further. In the Great Depression, everyone freaked out, and that caused a gigantic snowball effect on banks. I personally do not want to live through the Great Depression II, because that would suck. So unless all banks are beginning to fail and the government is no longer going to insure our money, my money stays at the bank (now Chase).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A few possibilities

I got called for an interview today! It's at a vet's office as a receptionist, which I would love. My interview is next Tuesday. There's also a possibility of me working at a little cafe here in Stayton called the Gardner House. So that would be fun too, but probably not full time and less money. So obviously my first choice is the vet's office. Hopefully one of these will work out. I'm getting tired of not working.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's official

We went to the DMV yesterday, and we are now official Oregonians again! Yesterday was nice and cloudy, so it felt more like Oregon then it has in the last few weeks. And the good news? It only cost $293 at the DMV instead of $435 like I thought. That is awesome, since we are quickly starting to run out of money, with me not working. I still have not found a job, which stinks.
On a better note, Andy and I joined a small group in our church with 4 other younger couples, and we love it. It's so nice to be around people our age. I also joined a Bible Study doing Beth Moore's Believing God series, and it's good so far. And we got library cards yesterday too, so I borrowed some healthy cook books for more yummy meal ideas. And a non-healthy French one because I like French food.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Interview

I had a job interview yesterday. I think it went well, but they interviewed 5 other people just yesterday, and maybe more today. So if I don't get this job, I'm sure there will be more to apply for. Just scoring an interview is a step in the right direction. Also yesterday was Andy's birthday. We had Becca and Aaron over and watched Baby Mama. Hilarious. A very funny movie. And I made Chicken Parmesan which turned out very good and a healthy blackberry pie. It wasn't quite as good as unhealthy blackberry pie, but still delicious.
I've been struggling a little bit the last two weeks and feeling a little bit depressed. I have to get a job in order for us to keep up on our bills/loans/expenses, etc. So I've been searching and searching and getting frustrated. Maybe I just need to work at Starbucks or something. But I don't think that would pay all of our bills either. Frustration!

Monday, September 8, 2008

My cousin's wedding

We went to Yakima, Washington for the weekend to attend my cousin Ryan's wedding. Andy got to be one of the photographers, and he did really well. My whole family (parents, siblings, sibling-in-law, niece and nephew) hopped into the Pullen's 15 passenger van and headed up on Friday. We stayed at a hotel and had a marvelous time. We ate lots of yummy apples. Here's a few of the pictures.




Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The job search

I hate looking for a job. I haven't had to do it very much at all, jobs somehow usually fall into my lap. Maybe one will now, but I don't see that happening. So I spruced up my resume and I've sent it to a few people. Tomorrow I'm going to print out a few and take it around town. I'd like to something like front desk, administration, or even retail if I have to (but fun retail). There's a cute little pet supply store down the street that I wouldn't mind working at, and a cute little cafe. So tomorrow I'll go by there to see if they need anything full-time-ish. Keep praying!
For the good news, I finished the sweater I was knitting for my niece. It's adorable, I just hope it fits her! I'll post pictures after I sew on the buttons.
Andy and I have been so busy with moving and everything that we've grown a tiny bit disconnected. So we went on a nice hike yesterday, and it was lovely. I got an idea from somewhere (I don't remember where) to write down on pieces of paper something your loved one can do to make you feel loved. So we did that and put them in a jar, we'll draw one each week to do for each other. It's very fun. This week I drew one to surprise Andy at work with a picnic lunch. He took lunch today, so instead I made peach cobbler and coffee, and I'm going to pick him up and take him to the park to enjoy it. This is fun.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Life in Stayton

We made it to Stayton, OR in one piece. The house we're living in for 2 months is super crowded with the owners' stuff, so there's pretty much no room for ours. The drawers are full, the closets are full, etc. So we're trying to figure out how to not live out of suitcases for 2 months. I guess the next house we're living in for 7 months is a lot bigger, so that will be nice. 
Other news: the school that I was applying for the teaching job at doesn't have enough money to hire me full time, unfortunately. So I'm still looking for a job, either in Stayton or Salem. We'll see what I can find. If you would pray for that, we would appreciate it. Andy's job is just 3/4 time until July, so he's not making enough to pay our bills. Then he'll get a raise this July and next July until he's back up to where he was at our old church. I think then we'll talk about starting a family, but until then I have to work full time as well. That will be interesting.
Jeffrey likes our house a lot, there's no fence in the back yard so we got a cable around the tree to tie him out there. It's working out okay, but a fence is always preferred. 
If any of you would like to come visit us, please give me a call, we love friends! We got new cell phone numbers too, so don't try our old ones. My new one will be on my facebook page.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Moving Day!

Yesterday was spent packing up our mountain of belongings (how did we accumulate so much stuff??), packing the cars, and cleaning our house. I'm just glad we were able to sell our big furniture so we don't have to move it. Last night we stayed at my parents' house in Grenada, and today we are driving up to Portland, then Stayton. Portland first because we are housesitting for 9 months at two fully furnished houses and don't need things like our bed, dresser and kitchen tools, so we're storing them at Andy's parents' house in the meantime.

I am very tired. And I have to drive all that way (about 6 or 7 hours total) by myself. We have a total of 3 cars and a big truck pulling a trailer. But I'm very excited about moving! My parents and Andy's mom are all helping us, and they were a HUGE help yesterday. What would we do without parents? It's kind of strange moving to Stayton, neither of our families are there, and we've always lived very close to at least one of our families. I will be an adventure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My exciting day

7am Wake up... wait, it's too early. Try to fall back asleep and fail miserably. Sit up and read by Bible in 2 Kings - exciting.
7:45 Get up and make omelets for Andy and I for breakfast (with heirloom tomatoes and avocados)
8:15 Wake up Andy with breakfast in bed and eat quick
8:30 Shower
8:50 Be nervous
9:00 Phone interview with the principal of Stayton Christian School for a PE/Music teacher position (plus some office work because they can't afford to pay the teacher full time)
9:50 Finish the interview with a sigh of relief - I'll hear back in the next day or so
10:15 Take our giant pile of laundry to the laundromat - we sold our washer and dryer at our yard sale
10:20 Realize that I don't have enough quarters to wash the whole giant pile (it cost $10!), so I look in my wallet and see a $5! Get change for my $5 at the little machine
10:30 Finish starting the laundry
10:35 Head to the bank for more quarters - get a $10 roll
10:45 Wait at the laundromat... luckily I brought my knitting
11:00 Switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer (it only costs $2 to dry everything!)
11:05 Head to the Lawnmower Man to pick up our lawn mower, pay him $20 for fixing our pull cord which was chewed off by my parents' dog
11:15 See a little boy selling pink lemonade on the side of the street, buy 2 cups for $1, cute little boy
11:20 Arrive at home to drop off the lawnmower and surprise Andy with lemonade - he's not there :(
11:25 Head back to the laundromat and wait for the drying to finish
11:30 Check the drying, and it's not quite dry, add another quarter
11:45 Finish the laundry and get out of there as fast as humanly possible
11:55 Grocery shop for some produce
12:10 Crash at home and nap for a while
1:30 Get awoken by Andy coming home
That's all so far, the rest of my day will be taken up by:
-Making Harvest Apple Galette for Ryan Freudenburg, one of our high schoolers whose leaving for college tomorrow
-Folding the laundry
-Packing as much as possible
-at 5:00 heading to my Mom's for dinner
-6:30 Jr. High Youth Group
-8:00 Home
-8:30 Ryan Freudenburg coming over for dessert
-9:30 A little Olympics
-10:30 Bed

How can my day be so filled with nothing??

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My cute niece and nephew



Here are my niece and nephew being hat models for me. I stole them to take these pictures last night when their family was down for a visit. Quin is 3 1/2 (today) and Lia is almost 15 months. They sure are cute.

Yard Sale!

We had our moving/yard sale yesterday. We got up at 5:15am to get everything ready by 8. People around here have a problem: If a yard sale is advertised to start at 8, they come at 7:15 to try to get in on the stuff first or to get a good deal or something. I think it's extremely rude and annoying. So we kept shooing people away and we started at 8. We had a huge morning crowd when it was cool outside, then it ended up being one of the hottest days of the summer so far. So we sat in the shade and a few people came in the afternoon. I should have taken pictures, because we sold a TON of stuff and only had 3 boxes of it left at the end. And the best news: we sold our furniture and our washer and dryer! So now we don't have couches, an entertainment center, coffee table, or any way to clean our clothes except the sink. It's nice that my mom lives close by. We did, however, make off with... over $450!! Yay for moving money!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My awesome husband

I've been really sad that our TV doesn't get NBC, therefore no Olympics. I love the Olympics. So Andy decided to move the TV and the antenna around, and voila! The Olympics!! Now I don't have to be sad and I can knit (and pack) with something to watch. Although I do think that some of the events are terribly boring, I like most of them. Especially gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, and some of the track and field events. YAY!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Massageness

I got a massage today. Andy bid on it at our Mexico auction for me and he won. It was LOVELY! My back has been in knots, and it was so nice to have them worked on. This was my third massage ever, one from my volleyball team last year, and one a few years ago when I was having more shoulder problems. My doctor said that I need them weekly in order to work out my shoulder knots, like I can afford that. If only I had amazing health insurance that would cover things like massages...

My 4 Things

I found this on someone's blog and thought it was fun. Plus I'm a little bored.

4 Jobs I've Held
Nanny
Sales Associate
Office Assistant
Gym monitor (yay...)

4 Movies I Watch Over and Over
Pride and Prejudice (BBC version)
Pride and Prejudice (New version)
Best in Show - it's hilarious
The Little Mermaid (lately)

4 Places I've Been
Brussels
Uganda
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
New York City

4 Places I've Lived
Northern California
Portland, OR
Vancouver, WA
Lake Oswego, OR

4 TV Shows I Watch
Seinfeld
The Office
Scrubs
Lost

4 People Who E-mail Me Regularly
Andy
Mom
My blog - with comments
Facebook

4 Favorite Foods
Sprouted grain bread
Chocolate
Green lemonade (it's really yummy)
Peaches

4 Places I Would Rather Be
Anywhere in Europe
Portland
Disneyland
Hiking somewhere

4 Things I'm Looking Forward To
Paying off our school/car debt
Buying our first house
Birthing our first child (planned for approximately 3 years into the future)
Moving to Stayton

Monday, August 11, 2008

Crochet market bag

For those of you who don't like to knit, I have the pattern for a crochet market bag that is very similar. Yay for patterns on the internet!

Bag pattern

Here's the link to the pattern I used for my market bag. I tweaked it  a little bit: I used size 4 needles for the bottom, 11 for the middle, and then size 8 for the top and handle instead of continuing on 11's. I also made it a little longer and the handle longer than the pattern said. I like how it turned out better. It's a fantastic bag.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Finished bag and Jeffrey's salad

Jeffrey had a salad today. We had left over lettuce and it wasn't enough to keep for anything, so I fed it to Jeffrey. Here's what happened:
He ate it! Well, lots of it. And then the rest of it was strewn around the floor for a while. It was very cute and healthy. I also gave him an olive which he didn't like. One of the first foods I've found that he didn't like.
I finally finished my market bag today. I finished it the other day with a double handle and it looked horrible. So I undid a big part of it and redid it with a single handle which I like a lot better. Here it is with a bunch of yarn in it. Sorry about the bad quality pictures, I didn't feel like turning lights on, it's too hot.
Here it is without anything in it. It compacts rather nicely when empty.
And here it is layed out to show the pattern more. If you recognize the couch, yes, it is from Memorial Dorm before they redid the upstairs furniture. Andy grabbed them when they were hauling them out to the dumpster. They're still in great shape, but we're selling them as we will have no storage for the next 9 months and we're house sitting for some nice people in Stayton.

Yay for visiting friends!

Our friends Jake and Cassie and their baby Elizabeth came down to visit us for the weekend. It was a blast and very nice to have friends here for once. We played lots of games, went to our county fair, went hiking up to a gorgeous lake, and they came to church with us. I don't have any pictures, but it was very nice to have them here. We're excited to get to hang out with more friends now that we're moving closer to most of them!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My cute boys

Knitting

A while ago, I was inspired by my friend Emily to pick up knitting again. It had been a while, and I have two old unfinished projects. I decided to get some yarn and needles, and knit a hat. My first hat turned out great, and I have since made 7 more I have yet to finish my unfinished projects (one's a baby blanket for my 1-year-old niece started when she was in the womb, and the other is a black felted bag that I am very excited to use once I get the guts to go ahead with the felting). I used to buy all my yarn and needles at Wal-mart because that's the only place around here to get supplies. I have since become a knitting snob and won't knit with acryllic or metal needles anymore. I've moved on to 100% cotton, wool/mohair/angora/silk, etc. and bamboo knitting needles (my soul mates). My latest project is a farmer's market bag out of cotton and linen. I'll post a terrible picture of my bag as it sits now. Not much to look at, but it will be once it's done!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Amazing people

Last night we went to an amazing couple's house for dinner at 6pm and ended up talking with them until 12:30am. They are an older couple from our church with the most incredible hearts for ministry. They're so encouraging and at the same time they want to learn as much as they can from us. I love having a relationship like that, they've pretty much been our mentors while we've been in Yreka. I'm sure going to miss them when we leave, but I know that God will provide more people like that in our lives. He gives us what we need when we need it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Giant spiders, not one but two

We had TWO giant spiders at our house the other night. One right outside our back door and the other right inside our garage door. They were about an inch in BODY length, not counting legs. They were huge and brown. I've never seen that kind before and they were gross and scary! We killed them with very toxic spider spray (I tried not to breathe it in). I did not like it, and neither did Andy. Now I'm freaked out to go in my garage. I can't figure out what kind of spiders they are either, so I don't know if they're poisonous! AHHHHH! I hate spiders!

Friday, July 25, 2008

News...

Hi everybody. Some of you know already, but some don't. At the end of August Andy and I are moving to Stayton, OR (15 minutes East of Salem). He got a job as a Middle School Pastor at Foothills Church. We're really excited about it, but also very sad to leave my family and the people at our church here. Now we just have lots of packing to do and I have to find a good job in Stayton or Salem. Pray for us as we do all that stuff and don't have a lot of time.

In other news, we went camping with my whole family last weekend, which was a blast. Then this week was our church camp, so we were camping for that all week and just got home today. Next week we're taking our Jr. Highers to the lake and our High Schoolers to the coast for 3 days. So needless to say, we're a little busy. I'm definitely getting back into a mostly raw diet after eating terribly in the last week. My choices weren't great, for lunch yesterday there were hot dogs, chips, cookies, and fruit salad with tons of whipped cream mixed in. Yuck. Now I have a headache and hopefully I can detox again this week!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bad news about Raw

Well, I'm afraid that I won't be able to continue my raw food challenge for the full 30 days for several reasons. First of all, I'm so busy that I don't have time to prepare enough nourishing raw meals to last me through every day. I'm constantly running around, grabbing a salad here and some fruit or nuts there, but simply not enough calories to get me through the day. I've lost about 8 pounds, and for me that's way too much. I've been doing Fitday, a nutrition calculator online, and I've only been getting 900-1200 calories per day with what I've been eating. Enough protein (at least 30 grams), but just not enough calories to keep me going. This evening I felt like I was going to pass out, which is not a good sign. 
Another reason is that I went camping over the weekend and that was fine doing raw, but this week I'm going to our church camp and helping all day with preparing the food, and it would be very hard to stay all raw because I would have to bring my own food, store it, and prepare it all on the side. 
The last reason is that our budget is super tight this month and all raw fruits, veggies, and especially nuts are not cheap, so it would be great to eat the free food at church camp. 
Some day when I have more time I might again attempt 100% raw, but for now I'm going to drop to about 70%. The other 30% will not be anything processed and will not contain any refined sugar. I refuse to eat those things because they are nothing but bad, cancer-and-disease-causing foods (if you can even call them that).
I will continue to eat lots of green smoothies, green juices, salads, fruits, etc. Just not quite 100%. Thanks for cheering me on, and I'm sorry to have to tell you that I can't continue.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Raw Day 8

I totally forgot to add this video on Monday! It's now raw day 11 for me and going well!
Raw Day 8 from Jill Pullen on Vimeo.

Jeffrey

I found this very cute picture of Jeffrey, so I thought I'd share it. He's 1 1/2 today. I love this dog.
P.S. It's Disneyland's Birthday too!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Raw Day 4

I don't know what's up with my shiny tooth in this video. It's not really like that.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zucchini Pasta


I made this for lunch today. It's totally raw, and the noodles are actually zucchini. The sauce is made of water, pinenuts, honey, garlic, nutmeg, lemon juice, almonds, all spice, salt, and pepper. It was really good, and Andy even liked it!

Raw Food Day 3


Raw Food Day 3 from Jill Pullen on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My 61st post

Exciting milestone for blogging! J/K 
I'm just trying to recover from all of the exciting things that have happened lately. After Mexico Andy and I went to Portland. It was only supposed to be for two nights, but our car wasn't all the way fixed (it cost $1800!!!!) so we had to wait until Thursday to come home. Andy's brother got engaged while we were there, so we went to their engagement party at a bar. It was interesting.
When we got home I was in my friend Carrie's wedding, so I had rehearsals and dinners and things to go to. It was a beautiful wedding on Sunday night, so that was fun. But I'm tired. This week is VBS at our church and we are in charge of the Jr. high kids for that. We're planning camping trips, waterslides trips, getting lots of event requests from the kids, etc. Busyness! I just finally cleaned up the house, did some grocery shopping, and balanced our checkbook yesterday. Life can be crazy, and there's no end in sight! The good news is that my friend Cassie and her husband and little daughter are coming to visit us in August. We're excited about that! I'll video blog later about our raw-foodness.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Home at last...

I'm home from Mexico! Whenever I leave the country, it feels like life stops at home and when I get back, it doesn't feel like I was really gone. It's like a chunk was taken out of my life.
But anyway, about our trip: It was great. The kids were great, we had an awesome time, and I think they learned and grew a lot. Check out mexiblog.gcbcstudents.org to see our video blog and pictures from the trip. I'm super tired now, so I think I'll go to bed super early tonight. Until next time.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mexico

We're leaving for Mexico in the morning. I would be more excited, but I currently have a 100 degree fever and don't feel so well. I think, if I get better, that it will be a fun trip and a good first missions trip for our High School students. I think they're all nervous. This is also Andy and my first time leading a missions trip, so pray for us! We'll be back on the 27th, so I probably won't be posting until then. Also please pray that I will feel 100% better by morning!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Old job

So I just got the news yesterday that Kidder Creek figured out that they don't have enough money for me to work there anymore. Sadly, I was let go. It's because there aren't enough campers signed up for the summer. I think there are two reasons for that:
1. The economy is down and people can't afford to send their kid to camp for $400 a week (or over $500 for Ranch Camp).
2. KC merged with Mt. Hermon camp in Santa Cruz a few years ago to expand their program. I don't think anything good has come out of it from my perspective. Prices for camp have gone up hugely since the merger. KC used to be a fantastic camp for local kids to go to and could afford, but now they're getting some kids from Santa Cruz and not thinking locally as much. On top of it, they're not really advertising outside of our area and Santa Cruz.
I love Kidder Creek and I'm sad to see them not doing so well this summer. I plan to go out there to visit every once-in-a-while for sure. So now all I have to worry about is all of the time on my hands that I will have after I get back from Mexico. Andy can probably use the help.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shopping trip

Yesterday Andy and I went clothes shopping. This doesn't happen too often, as we'd both rather spend our money on other things than clothes. When it does happen, we do it all at one time. So yesterday we bought several items (about 8 or 9) between the two of us, and it was expensive! Like $120 at Target! I would like to buy more, better clothes, but they cost so much. Stupid economy. We don't even have any good thrift stores here, they all sell old lady clothes (and very poor quality).

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The dumbest thing ever

This is a very funny story. It got me laughing so hard that I was crying, and any of you who know me well will know that this thing would only happen to me.

So I was in the bedroom on my laptop (this was just about 10 minutes ago) doing some online shopping for my raw food challenge coming up. I'm buying nut milk bags for juicing, chia seeds, nori sheets, ph testing tape, etc. Naturally when you want to buy things, you usually need a credit card or some form of payment. I asked Andy to hand me my purse, but it wasn't in the room where I thought it was. I realized that I had left it on the kitchen table. I went out to get it and it was dark. I thought I saw it in the middle of the table so I stuck my hand down to grab it (pretty forcefully) and got a shooting pain through the palm of my hand. It turns out that I grabbed a CACTUS!! that Andy brought home from church a few days ago (a very sharp pointy one). I totally forgot it was there. Andy and I laughed about it for a long time. So now my hand hurts.

The cactus looked like this by the way:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chocolate

I made my Dad some Father's Day presents today (I'll freeze them until the day). It was a raw chocolate day. Everything is made out of raw things, sweetened with agave nectar and hardened coconut oil/butter.
I started out with chocolate squares with almonds:
Then I made almond joys. I made a coconut inside with an almond on top, then covered with chocolate and froze them:
Next came those delicious Ferrero Rocher chocolates. They're not exactly like them, but similar. I made a hazelnut-chocolate paste, wrapped that around a hazelnut, and then covered it in raw chocolate:
And lastly, I took the leftover dipping chocolate and made some little chocolate bar-type things:
They all taste pretty delicious, and I know my Dad will love them.

Monday, June 2, 2008

New job

I started my new job today. I loved it! I'll be working a lot in the office, but at least there's other people in it with me!! I won't be so lonely, and the other leadership staff will come and go throughout the day. I'll also have lots of meetings with people. I thrive on relationships and they energize me. I feel much better after 7 hours there than I do after 6 hours working in the church office. Besides, my work at Kidder Creek is challenging, yet enjoyable. So yay for a new job! Oh, good news, I don't have to work tomorrow, so I'll get that much needed day off.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My life's about to get crazy...

I start my new job at Kidder Creek tomorrow. So this is what my week looks like: Tonight is High School youth group. Tomorrow I go to KC from 9am probably until about 5 or 6pm. Same thing Tuesday. Wednesday I work at church from 9am-3pm, then Junior High youth group at 6:30pm. Thursday I'm back at KC, then my cousin's graduation in Weed in the evening. Friday I'm back in the church office, then we have a concert in the evening. Saturday morning is High School graduation then at least 4 parties to go to. Sunday is church, I'm cooking lunch for the elder board that my husband's on, then HS youth group. Like I said, crazy. Barely a minute to spare. And it won't stop even after I come back from Mexico at the end of June!!! AHHHH! I have no days off.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A little bit of heaven

It's the beginning of Cherry season! I've been devouring them the last 2 days. I found some perfectly ripe (on sale!) ones at Raleys the other day. I think you should go get some and enjoy.
Eating more raw food has helped me get a handle on when produce comes into season. I've always tried oranges in summer, peaches in the winter and have been sorely disappointed at the lack of flavor and juice. So recently I've been researching when things come into season. For example, navel oranges are about done and strawberries are nearing the end of their season. But cherries, melons, and lots of greens are just starting! So go out and pick up a delicious watermelon or some bright red cherries and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Raw Food Challenge

I've been inspired lately. I'm going to start a 30-day, 100% Raw Food diet on July 7th. I'm waiting until then because I'm going to Mexico June 15-27, and I'm in a wedding July 6th. I might possibly start it on June 29th, I'm just not sure yet.

I've been going more and more raw, but still giving in to terrible cooked foods often. I want to get ahold of my acid problem and prove to myself that I can eat only healthy food for once. I find it easier to eat healthy on the days that I work, because I have to choose the food I'm going to bring before I'm hungry, not when the cravings hit. Maybe I should work more.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rain, rain, rain...

It's been raining here for a few days, and I love it! It reminds me of living in Portland... I miss it there. We went on a nice hike (it didn't start raining until this afternoon, although it was muddy) with my cousins and Jeffrey this morning. It was nice exercise, which I need to do way more often. I've had these huge shoulder knots that have started to constantly ache for about 7 years now and exercise seems to help them out a lot. Not necessarily walking, but arm things like volleyball, lifting weights, yoga, pilates, etc. Anyway, Jeffrey loved our walk and had a very good time. We put a little blue bandana on him to be a little patriotic for Memorial Day. Later we went to my Grandma's house for barbecued lunch and then went out to my Grandpa's grave at the cemetery. It was a nice day. Now we're home, I just woke up from a nap, and Andy and Jeffrey are still sleeping. We'll probably watch a movie later, and I think I'll eat a nice salad.

By the way, if anyone's up for an amazing salad, you need to try this. It's fantastic.

Mango Avocado Salad

This really is one of the best combinations ever.

2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped

1 Large Avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped

1 Tablespoons Lime Juice

1 Tablespoon Tangerine Juice

2 Teaspoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Cilantro Leaves

1 Tablespoon Black Sesame Seeds


Add all ingredients to a bowl and enjoy!


I didn't have any black sesame seeds, and it's still delicious without them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vitamix 5200

So my awesome, rad husband decided to get me a present. Since we got our economic stimulus we have a little bit of extra money so he got me a Vitamix 5200 at Costco (you save a bunch of $ there!). Let me just tell you, it's fantastic. I've been blending like crazy. I used it 3 times today for smoothies and juice, I've made raw dressing for a delicious salad, chocolate dream cake, chopped nuts, etc. This machine is amazing. I heart it.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Bible and God

I've been challenged lately. I think about myself far too much and too little about God and other people. I just recently started reading my Bible on a more regular basis. This has always been hard for me, I'm not good at establishing good habits at all. Maybe I'm just too lazy or too selfish, I don't really know. But reading the Bible has become very important to me. I need to know God's word in order to be changed by Him and in order to speak truth to others. Even after getting a BS in Bible/Theology I don't know my Bible half as well as I'd like to. My grandmother has always been an inspiration to me, I'm pretty sure she reads through the Bible every single year. My parents always got up early and read their Bibles together, even on the crazy days.

I want God to be more of a priority. I've been a little dry doing ministry to our high school and junior high students. I haven't wanted to go to youth group or call them or anything and I know it's because I'm being selfish and not letting God work in me and through me. But He keeps on breaking through my barriers and challenging me in huge ways. I love that He does that.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

HOT!

Yesterday the temperature was officially 97 degrees. Today it's 95 at 5:21pm, so this afternoon was most likely in the very high nineties. It's WAY too hot for May! We don't have air conditioning, which is insane, so right now in our house it's 90 (we have very thin walls). I'm boiling, and Jeffrey is not having a good time. Andy won't stop complaining. We have a little window air conditioner, but it's hard to put in. Hopefully we'll be able to do it soon. AHHHH! I'm going to take a cold shower.

Monday, May 12, 2008

New food blog

For accountability purposes, I've started a new blog that I plan to update daily with what I've eaten. You can get to it here: diurnalsustenance.blogspot.com (which just means daily food). I need to eat better, and it's easy to hide the not good things that I eat. But not anymore. Yay for accountability with blogs!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ropes Course

We took our Mexico team to the ropes course at Kidder Creek today. I haven't been to it for about 2 years, so it was fun to go back. I didn't get to do any elements, but I got to belay the kids so they could do them. It's funny how I learned to belay about 6 years ago and last did it 3 years ago. When I came back to it I remembered exactly how to do it, with out any refreshers or anything. It was very fun, too.

Taking high school kids, or anyone for that matter, to a ropes course shows you what the kids are made of. Some of them surprise you with how brave they are, some of them are just brave and you knew they would be, and some of them that you thought would be brave are not at all! We had one girl who is home schooled, not very social at all, and really shy. I thought she wouldn't even try the elements, but instead she went straight up and did them with barely a hesitation. Another kid got up to the top and proceeded to stand there for 15 minutes, I kid you not, while I waited and tried to get him to go across. He really really didn't want to and I finally got him to come down. It was such a challenge for him and I was surprised. It definitely goes to show that people on the inside are NOT always what comes across on the outside.

Naturopathic Medicine

I've been impressed with naturoptathic medicine for a while. I'm interested in natural healing through diet, manual manipulation (massage and things), herbs, etc. I'm NOT a fan of pharmaceuticals at all, I think they just treat the symptoms, mess with your body, and introduce un-natural toxins. America is killing itself by having a very SAD (standard american diet) way of eating - waaaay too much processed, cooked until there's nothing left but fiber in it, foods, and using tons of chemicals for EVERYTHING from cleaning products to synthetic drugs to food coloring. Do you really want those things in or around your body?? Our skin is so porous that anything we come in contact with goes straight in. Look at the ingredients on your shampoo bottle or hand soap or lotion: full of chemicals.

Sorry to lecture here, I just wanted to introduce my wonderful idea. I'm a very passionate person, but before now I hadn't found my big thing to be passionate about. I finally have!! I'm planning on going to more school to become a naturoptathic doctor! I have a few prerequisites to take and then 4 years of school. I love teaching people how to thrive and how to heal naturally. My Grandparents have all had numerous cancers, heart disease, etc, and I don't want more people to have to go through that. I honestly think that cancer and heart disease (and obesity) is HUGE in America because of diet and chemicals. Some of it may be genetic, but most of it is caused by us poisoning ourselves.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Summer of Insanity

Oh my gosh, I just looked at our summer calendar. We have something every single Saturday until July and a big thing (or multiple big things) every single week for the entire summer! I know that being a youth pastor's wife you stay busy, but this is just insane! I hope we can find a little bit of relaxing time.

On a side note, Jeffrey's not feeling well today. He's been whining a lot, and I think there's something wrong with his ear. Andy touched it and he yelped, but since then we've been able to rub it and move it around with no problem. He's not playing as much as usual, although he's still eating like a champ. If he's still not his usual self by Monday we'll take him to the vet. Yay vet bills. Why does everything have to be so expensive??

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No blogging!

Sorry I've been away from blogging for so long! I've had a lot going on. My Grandpa died on Sunday in Wisconsin. I couldn't go to the funeral, which was today, although I wanted to. Not quite in the budget. My brother and my parents are there representing us (Cindy's at the East Coast with Dan's family). We had an auction for our Mexico team on Sunday, so I worked a ton on that. We're almost there with our fundraising, which is awesome. On to Jr. High youth group tonight. I'll update on more of my life/thoughts later.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Grandpas

I've had the privilege of growing up with all four of my grandparents living and still married (in pairs). My grandparents have all had quite a large amount of health problems. After our wedding in December of '06 my Grandpa on my mom's side got a brain tumor which was operated on in January of last year. Then he went through radiation and it caused him to go into brain atrophy and he died June 2, 2007. That was really hard because I was really close to him (I grew up about 20 miles away). Anyway, then my Grandma on my mom's side got kidney cancer. She's gone through chemotherapy and is now on radiation. She's doing fine now, but the cancer will come back in a few years and then they won't be able to do anything about it.

On to the real current news. My Grandpa on my dad's side has had only one kidney since age 23 (I think he's 84 or so now). The last few years he had to go on dialysis because his kidney wasn't functioning well at all. His quality of life has been going way downhill and on Friday he decided to go off dialysis, which means he has about a week to live. My dad flew out to Wisconsin today to be with him and my Grandma until the funeral. They're all okay with him dying because he really hasn't been doing well at all. 

If you think about it, pray for my grandparents (Avery and Bertie) and family this week as they're going through this. It's not easy to let someone go, even if it is the best thing. All of my grandparents are believers, both of my Grandpas were pastors.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Shack

If you haven't read The Shack by William P. Young, you have to! I finished it in two days, and it is an incredible story. A lot of people are saying that it's a work of fiction, but I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that. I believe that God can do anything that He wants in how He wants to show Himself to people. I don't want to limit Him by saying that it all didn't really happen. That being said, as I read the book, I cried. A lot. It's heart wrenching and life changing at the same time. Since I finished it yesterday, I have read my Bible differently, I have looked at other people through God's eyes of pure love, I have been truly honest and real with my husband, and I have been praying for my future children. This book will touch your soul.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jeffrey's mishap

A few months ago we decided that Jeffrey was old enough to be out and about in the house while we were gone. He's usually in the kitchen with a bed and his toys. So we let him wander the first time, and when we got home it looked like he had slept on the couch the entire time. Good test run. The next time we went somewhere, we let him wander again, but this time it was for about 5 or so hours, much longer than the first time. When we got home, our dear boy had chewed a rather large hole in our carpet right next to the back door! He was in huge trouble and hasn't gotten to stay out by himself since.

The real big deal... we did NOT want to call the landlady and tell her. But we knew we had to. So we waited, and waited, hoping the other person would have the guts to call. I'm very proud to say that today I finally got up the courage and made the call. It turned out to not be that big of a deal, she told me where she got the carpet and that they could probably fix it with carpet from the closet or something. I was very relieved.

How many times do we do things like that?? Sin and then are afraid of taking it to God, or we try to hide from it. I've gotten inspired by this little mishap to come clean with a lot of my junk. To God, to Andy, etc. As we all know, honesty is the best policy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Life in the small town

I got a gift certificate to a little drive through burger joint called Gold Rush Burgers for my birthday. Last Monday (our day off) we went there at about 3:30 to get some burgers and they were closed. The sign said open M-F 11-7 (??). What's the deal? So a lady came out and said that they close at 3 on Mondays, so we went home. Today we decided we were hungry and went to get our burgers at 2:45. We got there and again it was closed. Andy knocked on the door and a guy came out and said that they close at 2:30 or 3 on Mondays. AAAHHHHH All we wanted was a nice burger (we've heard they're good). If I didn't have a gift certificate I wouldn't ever go back to this place that can't even advertise accurate hours. But since I do, maybe we'll try tomorrow. Hopefully they'll be open until 7. Stupid Gold Rush.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Survey

I found this little game on a random blog. If you want to do it, just post this list on your blog with your one word answers, then let me know so I can see them!

1. Cellphone: silent
2. Relationship: solid
3. My hair: crazy
4. Work: boring
5. My sibling/siblings: lovable
6. My favorite thing: hugging
7. My dream last night: disturbing
8. Favorite drink: water
9. Dream car: saab
10. The room I’m in: bedroom
11. My shoes: off!
12. My fears: drowning
13. What do I want to be in 10 years: mother
14. Who did I hang out with this weekend: husband
15. What I am not good at: handwriting
16. Muffin: blueberry
17. One of my wish list items: Vita-mix
18. Where I grew up: Grenada
19. Last thing I did: Music
20. Wearing: pj's
21. Not wearing: makeup
22. My pets: Jeffrey
23. My computer: macbook
24. My life: busy
25. My mood: stressed
26. Missing: Portland
27. What I am thinking about right now: Andy
28. My car: Civic
29. My kitchen: tornado!
30. My weather: odd
31. Favorite color: yellow
32. Last time I laughed: 7:30pm
33. Last time I cried: weeks
34. School: done!
35. Love: forever

Friday, April 18, 2008

To drive a mile...

It's official. Gas has gone over the $4 mark for us here in the middle of nowhere. And this is not premium or plus gas, but the regular cheap stuff. We're constantly trying to use less of this precious (although very bad on the environment) liquid. We walked to our favorite coffee shop the other day with Jeffrey, which was nice. We try to drive our small honda instead of our large volvo wagon when we can. You get the picture. I just wish we lived close enough to work so we could bike there. But it's 12 miles one way, so that would take at least an hour. Maybe one of these days I'll try it. Oh wait, I'd have to get a bike first, or at least get Andy's bike fixed, and a helmet. I hate money (or lack thereof).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My lunch

Today I had the best lunch! It was chopped salad from a recipe in Natalia Rose's book "The Raw Food Detox Diet" (which I recommend). It's very colorful and one of the most delicious things I've had in a while, except for my raw chocolate cake. So here's a picture and the recipe.
Classic Chopped Salad
Makes 4 Servings

1 cup fresh haricots verts (green beans)
3 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from the cob
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 zucchini, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Andy even liked the salad, except for the bell peppers and zucchini.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mondays

I love Mondays. It's our day off so I get a chance to do things like laundry, cleaning the house, paying the bills, and I always find time for something fun. Today I'm going to WalMart to buy a puzzle. I haven't done a puzzle in a very long time and it sounds fun. Here's one of my other latest Monday projects: an herb garden in my kitchen window sill. They're doing quite well and they're the first things I've been able to grow and not kill. I'm very proud. The herbs are as follows:

Oregano

Parsley
Sage
Thyme

Basil
I can't wait until they're big enough for me to use on delicious food!
Here's another wonderful thing. I got 3 ranunculus plants for my Birthday from a friend, so I took some pictures of the flowers. They're similar to roses, and I actually like them better than roses. I'm going to plant them in an ugly (it's ugly now because it has no flowers in it) barrel in my front yard. I think it gets lots of sun there, which is what these things need.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Birthday and Rich Chocolate Dream Cake

Here's a picture of my beautiful rich chocolate dream cake. It's almost all raw and very delicious and indulgent. It's sweetened with agave nectar and maple syrup (both with a low glycemic index). So yes, Carla, I made myself a raw Birthday cake.

I had a wonderful Birthday yesterday. Andy took me out to breakfast at a wonderful little cafe in Ashland. I had lemon ricotta stuffed french toast served with warm berry sauce. Not raw but absolutely delicious. Then we met my sister and brother at a bowling alley in Medford and went bowling (there's not too much to do around here except bowling). I got second place with a score of 99. My 3-year-old nephew Quin got 70 (with bumpers, but still impressive). Then Andy and I went to a movie - we saw Vantage Point, which was pretty good. Go Dennis Quaid.

Then Andy took me home and my whole family was at our house for a surprise party! I sort of knew about it, but I didn't think that my sister and brother would be there. Then a bunch of people stopped by throughout the evening to eat food, hang out, and to wish me a happy birthday. It ended up being a wonderful day.

As per Emily's request, here is the recipe for my Rich Chocolate Dream Cake:

For the Crust:

1 Cup Almonds

1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder (Cacao Powder)

2 TB Agave Nectar

1 Tsp. Virgin Coconut Butter

2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/4 Tsp. Sea Salt


Step 1 In a food processor, grind the almonds and cocoa powder together until fine. Do not over-process. Then add in the sea salt, vanilla, coconut butter and agave and pulse a few times.

Step 2 Press into bottom of 7″ Springform Pan and set in the freezer.


For the Filling:

5 oz Bittersweet Organic Chocolate (Green and Blacks or a raw brand)

1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder (Cacao Powder)

2 Cups Young Coconut Meat

1/4 Cup Virgin Coconut Butter

1/2 Cup Cashew Butter

1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

1/4 Cup Agave Nectar

2 TB Vanilla Extract


Step 1 Melt the chocolate over a pan of hot water in a heat safe bowl (double broiler), or in a dehydrator.

Step 2 Add everything to a high speed blender until smooth. Pour into the springform pan and set in the fridge or freezer until firm.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Vita-Mix

Since starting a raw food diet, I have come to realize that my Oster blender is not nearly powerful enough to blend most of the things that I'd like to blend. For example, today I made a rich chocolate dream cake (all raw, of course and good for you! I'll post pictures of it later). The Osterizer had a little bit of a hard time with all of the coconut meat, cacao powder, cashew butter, etc. It actually started to smell bad and I was afraid it was going to start smoking. But it didn't. I often have to stir with a long handled spoon to make it blend even my green smoothies.

Now I'll tell you about the blender I am currently coveting in a huge way.
The VITA-MIX Blender!

Not only is it the best blender that you can buy, it also doubles as a food processor, it kneads bread dough, grinds up grains, makes fruit juice, etc. They make me feel like I can't live without one. Of course I can, but I still want one badly. The only down side: they cost at least $350, and that's for a refurbished one of last year's model. They do come with a 7-year warranty, which is awesome. I guess I'll have to start saving up my pennies to get one in 5 years or so. By then they'll probably cost $500. Sadly, money doesn't grow on trees.