Monday, June 29, 2009

Pesto, Ice Cream and Salvation

How do these things all tie together?
Well, I found a great pesto recipe that I was so excited about...then a mom from church called and asked if I could talk to her daughter about we went out for ice cream and she accepted Christ as her Savior! Obviously, I became much less excited about the pesto and jubilant over the girl's salvation! I'll share pictures of both!

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

This was so good on cracked pepper triscuits! Today, our chicken is marinading in the rest. I followed the directions here to keep my basil producing in the garden. So far, so good!

Here's Little L and I after we talked at the park. What a sweet, tender hearted little girl! I'm so excited that she has accepted Christ's payment for the penalty of her sins through His death on the cross and that she wants to live her life to make God look good! Awesome!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The last day in Florida, we got up SUPER early to see the sunrise. This is probably one of only a handful of sunrises I have ever purposely tried to see in my lifetime! It was beautiful!
It's about 6:00 am here...the police were sweeping the beach to clear off all the homeless people and bums before the "elite" started hitting the beaches for their morning run. It was an interesting sight.
Now it's 6:10...the colors were getting so brilliant!It's up...but hidden by a few clouds!Ahhh...6:30 and beautiful!
Enjoying an awesome cup of coffee with this great guy!An amazing breakfast sandwich...probably big enough to feed our entire family! Fresh sourdough bread, smoked ham, two eggs, cheese, and a thick slice of a juicy ripe tomato: yum!!!
Our server insisted on taking our picture. He had a really sad story...50 year old guy who moved to Ft. Lauderdale twenty-five years ago, still working in a restaurant, never has found love--shared that it's tough to be single in our society, and that we will appreciate having each other even more as we grow old. He was super talkative...I thought we should bring him home to Willow Creek and hook him up...
Good-bye Florida! The beaches were absolutely gorgeous and our time together was so relaxing and fun! It was a wonderful way to celebrate ten years of marriage! XOXO

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Our last full day in Florida...

Put the top down and cruise!

A quick meal here that was full of flare!

I'm sure Cody is aspiring to be the man in the background someday. Guitar, speedo, and a nap on the beach...awesome.

Actually, this would be a more accurate aspiration: riding the water! Cody loves to skim board and found a cool beach guy that let him borrow his board.
We love the beach!!!To end the night, we had an amazing meal at the Casablanca Cafe.
Lobster ravioli with fresh asparagus, portabello mushrooms, roasted red pepper cream sauce, and a caviar garnish: yum! It was one of those meals that we tried to completely enjoy every bite because the likelihood of having it here again is probably pretty slim...but it would be great!
Just one day started pretty early, too!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The trip to Key West:
Once upon a time, a boy and girl hopped in a convertible and took off on a three hour trek to the most southern point in the continental United States.
The driving conditions were beautiful..and hot! Iced coffees were plentiful!
They passed a cool little island that was connected to the old bridge. It was a beautiful, quaint island, but a little creepy to see the bridge drop off near the end.
Upon arriving in Key West, the two hopped on a Conch Trolley Tour and viewed many beautiful homes around the island and learned a lot of history.
This home won a plaque for the best restoration project. It was very beautiful!They made it to the Southernmost Point...only 90 miles away from Cuba. Unfortunately, the Trolley couldn't stop, so they took a picture of some other nifty people enjoying the sites.

The next stop was made at the Blond Giraffe. The couple had seen the Blond Giraffe featured on one of the Food Network's Shows. The lady who started the shop had come over from the Bahamas and had a very cool story of hard work and determination. She had a cool verse from Nehemiah posted over the door.
Mmmm....the boy was happy to try this cold treat!The girl was giddy with excitement for a Key Lime Treat! It was a yummy treat for both!
Next, the couple set off on a new adventure: snorkeling and a sunset cruise. You'll have to try hard not to be jealous of their amazing gear...
The water was so clear and beautiful! The couple enjoyed swimming around a large corral reef with many tropical fish, jelly fish, and even a small shark or two!After snorkeling for awhile, the sails were set and the boat headed back to land.The clouds and sea were so pretty!

Other boats were enjoying the beautiful evening.
The couple wondered what it would be like to live here on the island! What a beautiful spot to live!The coupled ended their adventure with a lovely sunset and three hours later arrived back at their little abode to rest up for another day of adventures!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Here's another recap from one week ago today:

The beautiful Florida Everglades!

Hello there, Mr. Alligator!

The clouds were so beautiful and reflected perfectly off the water.

A little windblown on the fan boat, but never fear, we've got our ear plugs in!
(We basically road this because it always looks cool on the previews for CSI Miami!
No dead bodies were found, but it was a super fun ride!)

Even had a special guest on our boat: Chief Potawatomie

Off to the next beach: Biscayne Beach

It was beautiful! This wasn't our set-up, but it made for a perfect picture!

Now to cruise off into Miami again.

We got to the beach and saw tons of filming equipment. They were doing the pilot episode for Fire In the Hole which will be on FX this fall. It was pretty cool to watch. I don't know these famous people...but trust me, they're famous.

Next we had to find Miami Ink. No tattoos, but now I can say I've been there!

Of was cool!

No, we're not big DHL fans, but they do have a pretty cool fountain...and we had to put the top up, it was starting to rain!

There you have it: our Tuesday fun! I didn't realize how much we packed into that day!
Tomorrow's pictures: KEY WEST!!!
It was beautiful!

Monday, June 22, 2009

One week ago today....

I was riding in this:

Watching quite the funny performance by a cute little guy:

Admiring the beautiful scenery on the trails:

Heading down the path to the beautiful South Beach:

Eating this amazing seafood for dinner:
(lobster, salmon, shrimp, calamari, oysters, clams, and so amazing!)

And smiling back at this hunk of a guy!

...and that was just Monday!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kindergarten from beginning to end!
Seeing these pictures next to each other made me a little emotional as I realized how quickly times flies and how fast Cloe is growing into a little lady! I pray that the examples we are setting and the training we are giving her will lead her to live a life for Christ's glory! I couldn't ask for a sweeter, more loving little girl! I pray that God will continue to keep her heart tender and compassionate!
This week, she has been earnestly praying that her friends from school will come to Vacation Bible School. I had emailed the moms and gotten all "no" responses. Cloe was disappointed, but she didn't quit praying. Today, I got an email that one of the moms changed her mind and her daughter will be there in the morning! What a cool thing for Cloe to see God answer her prayers!
As much as I would love to keep Cloe "little", I love seeing her grow and learn about God. Every "stage" has been my "favorite" so far; I can't wait to see what God has in store next!