27 December 2006


Moira and Justin got engaged!

The Illmans had a baby!

27 November 2006

Thanksgiving in Poulsbo

I was not there, but the picture looks fun. One question: was Lydia there? Just checking.

I love the view out the window. Gorgeous greenery!!


Some people's spiritual gift is carving turkeys.

15 November 2006

another pic

This awesome picture was stolen from Monica's FlickR. Thanks Mon ;)

L-R: Em, Rachel, Ari. This is right after we finished our rap, OK, Rachel's rap, to which Ari and I beatboxed. The whole idea of Rachel rapping is so ridiculous it's awesome. She is pretty much one of the whitest people around, both in skin color and personality. :)

Anyway, it was so fun. More to come.

07 November 2006

Sus's wedding

Megan Roderick is so hot right now.

The Bride & Groom's first dance as a married couple! (They practiced)

Third North mini-reunion

Getting Ready...

Thanks to Ms. Marie G. for the pics!! More pics at Marie's blog.

03 November 2006

creamy wine sauce pasta

I found this fancy meatless yet delicious pasta recipe. I altered it to be even better and here it is:

2 T. olive oil
3 cups sliced mushrooms (buy them whole and then slice yourself, they keep better this way) OR sliced zucchini... OR both?
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh chopped rosemary
Salt & Pepper
1/3 c. heavy cream
1/3 c. white wine
1/3 c. chicken broth

In a large skillet over medium, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms, minced garlic and rosemary. Season with S&P. Cook for a few minutes. Add cream, wine and broth. Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat, stirring until sauce is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.

Serve over hot cooked pasta; top with parmesan cheese.

I did not make this up.

02 November 2006

Still sugar-free... mostly

So I have been doing pretty good except someone made me these cookies!!! Dang it... they are the BEST! After I ate them I felt slightly ill though. In case anyone cares... I am still not eating many sweets, and feeling better. And when I do eat sweets, I feel yucky.

Pictures of Susan's wedding to come... it was great fun. Chattanooga is beautiful this time of year, all those leaves... it was great to see everyone too. I saw Marie, Peter, Susan, Megan Roderick, Monica, Larry & Nancy, all of Susan's family, Christian & Glenn, the Steeles, Dale Lee and the Williams fam at Cornerstone... it was great.

03 October 2006

Ridiculously good dip

1/4 c. mango chutney
4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 a pkg.)
some plain yogurt - I forget how much - 1/4 cup?
1 tsp. curry powder

Snip any large fruit pieces in the chutney. Mix cream cheese, yogurt and curry powder. Stir well (get all lumps out). Then add chutney.

So Good. We had it last night at Katie Wag's bday party with rice crackers, carrots, celery, cucumber and granny smith apples.

From the Better homes & Gardens Vegetarian cookbook Mom gave me for Christmas. :)

22 September 2006

Covenant Reunion at the Avocado House

Tami, Katie Wags, Bethy, Hope, Brian Hecker, Iwan, Matt, Ken

21 September 2006


Remember how mom used to not know how to post pictures on her blog? Well now I don't because I take pictures with my camera phone, and I can't figure out how to upload them to my computer.

Any advice?

In other news, I am on a diet so I will look cute in that green bridesmaids dress of Susan's. The biggest thing is - I am not eating any sugar! Except in fruit. No refined sugar of course, so no sweets - and also no ketchup and other good stuff like that. Not even honey. But bread. Definitely bread.

You will not believe this but Ken is on the no-sugar bandwagon too. We both had a really hard day yesterday. I had a bad headache and Ken was confronted with all KINDS of temptation. But we prevailed! Will power baby.

29 August 2006

Cuban Lentils!

At our avocado house communist dinner last night, we enjoyed this new lentil salad recipe from the Food Network.

Here's what I did, for posterity's sake:

6 c. water
1 1/2 T. salt
1 1/2 c. lentils
1 T. evoo
4 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. vinegar
4 green onions, white/light green parts only, sliced thin on the diagonal
1/2 c. finely chopped red or green pepper

In a large pot, boil water and salt. Add lentils, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes until tender but not mushy (if you use the smaller red lentils, check them at 15 minutes because they are much more delicate).

Meanwhile, in medium skillet, heat evoo over medium low. Add garlic, cook gently about 5 minutes or until softened (not brown). Remove from heat and stir in spices, salt, vinegar. Transfer mixture to large serving bowl.

Drain lentils; transfer to bowl. Toss together with dressing until lentils are evenly coated. Cool to room temp and stir in green onions and peppers. Serve warm or cold.

I highly recommend this one! Cheap, easy, healthy, yummy.

24 August 2006

Side Project

I think I am going to write a cookbook. Not yet - but maybe in another 10 years when I have more cooking experience. I know there are already a lot of cookbooks out there and mine probably won't make it to Barnes & Noble, but it will still be fun!

The theme could be nutritious cooking from scratch, because that's what I like to do. It bugs me when recipes call for prepared foods. That is not a recipe to me. Although I must admit, "prepared" is a relative term. Most stuff in my kitchen has undergone some sort of processing or preparation, except fresh fruits and veggies. A

Anyway, you know how you feel when Betty Crocker has a recipe that calls for processed cheese loaf? Disappointed, shocked, even nauseous? That's how I feel too. You just skip right over those kind of recipes. My cookbook is not going to have any of that trash. It will have recipes involving foods from your pantry like whole grains and beans, and fresh produce.

I hope I'm not just duplicating Laurel's Kitchen though. That is one of the best cookbooks ever. It makes me want to move to Berkeley, bake bread in coffee cans, protest the war and make vegetarian dogfood for my golden retriever.

22 August 2006

Beans and Rice!

Dear fans,

Last night I made the most incredible meal! As some have said, "It's no bargain if your husband won't eat it," but I beg to differ. My husband sometimes cannot handle the spicier things in life, so he had to wash this dinner down with a lot of almond milk, wine, zucchini and lime tortilla chips.


BEANS AND RICE, inspired by Betty Crocker, but taken to the next level by EM, the fake Martha:

1 c. dried beans (I used mixed - kidney, navy, black eyed peas, garbanzo, etc. - but some were still slightly crunchy at the end - not too bad though)
3 c. water
3 strips bacon, cut up
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 4 oz. can jalapeno peppers* (optional)
2-3 T. brown sugar
1 c. uncooked rice
1/2 tsp. salt

Bring beans and water to a boil in 3-quart saucepan or pot. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 hour or 1 hr 15 min - when beans are tender. Drain and reserve bean liquid (leave beans in large pot). Add enough water to bean liquid to equal 2 cups (if necessary).

Meanwhile (during last 10 min or so of beans cooking), in large skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Add chopped onion and green pepper; saute until onion is soft.

Add bacon mixture to beans in large pot. Add bean liquid, jalapenos if using, brown sugar, rice and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 14 minutes. Do not uncover or stir while cooking - this is important for the rice to be perfect!

Serve with mild-mannered side dishes that won't steal the show! Serves 6.

*Using a whole 4 oz. can of jalapenos made it REALLY SPICY. One-third of the test kitchen (Ken) was traumatized. However, the other two-thirds found it very nourishing and enjoyable - unless Tami was just being polite. Nah. Anyways, maybe try it with just half a can of the jalapenos. What happened was I stocked up on the little cans of green chilies at Safeway for when I feel like chilies rellenos, and I accidentally picked up a can of jalapenos! So I used it in this.

Let me know if you try this and what you think. I will be so excited.

Farewell Beloved

Welp, I got my crown put on with no major drama. Feeling pretty good about that. At the same time, I was slightly attached to that tooth (not attached enough to floss though), and having it whittled down to practically nothingness was kind of traumatic. I mean - that tooth has been with me for a long time. And now it's GONE!

The grossest part was the smell. But my dentist is really nice so that helped. I focused my thoughts on the Nave children while he was drilling.


In related news, I am now sipping coffee through a straw, as the latest urban legend says it helps to wear off the numbness. Perhaps it's the caffeine, since I've heard the same thing about Coke.

In other news, we are going to the long-lost Naves' house tonight for dinner. Definitely looking forward to that, as they always have good food and they're just really fun and refreshing.

Mary, if you are reading this: get back to work. >:)

25 July 2006

Heat Wave!

It is hot. But Saturday was the worst: I heard reports of 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114 (successively.. it was sort of like a fish story).

I heard there were even fatalities! We did our best to stay cool and so didn't die - but I think my pepper plant might be a casualty. It is not looking too good anymore and every time I water it, more of its leaves fall off. They are healthy looking leaves, but then they just drop to the ground. :( Any tips?

We camped out on the porch last night. It was nice and cool (relatively speaking)... but there were scary noises coming from the woods. ! Yikes....

06 July 2006

Cherry Tomatoes

We would have lots of tomatoes by now except that other animals keep eating them. Hmm. Sketchy. I am spraying them with soapy water which seems to keep most bugs away. I'm growing a pepper plant and basil in the screened-in porch in hopes that gophers and rabbits will not get to them. Aphids, however, love the pepper blossoms!

Anyway. I suppose that's the price we have to pay for living in the woods.

On the bright side (literally), on Tuesday night we saw the fireworks in Grape Day Park from our little perch on the hill, and didn't have to deal with any crowds. So nice!!!

26 June 2006

New Car, Hip Hip

OK, we got our car, and now all is well and fine. Sorry I don't have a picture to post. But it's our old car, only newer. :) And no stick shift. :( Too bad.

Not much else going on, cept it's hot as heck down here. woohoo! No AC for the avocado house... just fans. Ken says we need a hot tub. But how bout a pool? That'd be sweet.

Dude, take me to San Fran, where the air is cool and foggy!!

P.S. I missed Marie, so I made her famous chicken salad, and man was it good. The red grapes make the difference. yummers

13 June 2006

Carless in a Carful Society

Well folks, we're still without a car. We found a good one on Craigslist though, and had it czeched out as Meg suggested, and it seems fine. Now we just have to get it from the dude. But you will never believe this: it's a silver Mazda 626! How ironic. I didn't necessarily want only grey cars in this life. Oh well.

I did break down and rent one though. I couldn't stand it. Plus, I forgot about Robert's offer to let us borrow his car while he's in Australia. Woops.

In conclusion, don't feel too sorry for us. We are cruisin around now in our shiny blue mitsubishi (just for a week though.. hopefully). We got a BBQ after being inspired by Eagle Crest. We're going to give it a try tonight!

25 May 2006

The Little Camry that Could - A Memoir

Mrs. Lewin has inspired me to jot down some fun memories about another car I used to have: Imogene, the little Camry that could. I wouldn't mind having another one like her. She was the sort of car that was before cars were all computerized, so if something broke on her, you could just sort of fix it yourself.

Well one bright sunny day, Mrs. Lewin and I set out for Washington. We drove down the windy road of Lookout Mountain, under all the lovely green shade of a Tennessee summer, and before we got to the bottom, the car died. Not a good sign before a 48-hour drive. I vaguely remember someone helping us fix it- Dr. Mehne perhaps? - and we set out once again. We were almost to Nashville when right there on the freeway, little Imogene decided to stop. She froze right up and we pulled over to the side. We waited and watched for a while for Steve and Dan Henry, knowing that since they were such gentlemen they would be behind us, but lo and behold they never showed up. A nice highway patrolman did though, and didn't even give us a ticket. :)

Blah blah blah, we ended up in a motel overnight in Murfreesboro, not even two hours away from dear old Covenant College. How frustrating was that. A nice hickish tow-truck man was very kind to us and offered to let us stay at his house but we are women of the 90s and so we freaked out and said no way. But the best encouragement came when who should knock at our motel room door, scaring the crap out of us, but our dear old Zach Cheney. We were never so glad to see him in our lives. (At least I wasn't.) ;) We finally caught up to Steve at Dan Henry's house in Colorado where we slept all day before setting out again for home.

Here is the lovely song that got us through that wicked trip:

"Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Roll on, Columbia, roll on
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn
So roll on, Columbia, roll on.

Green Douglas firs where the waters cut through
Down her wild mountains and canyons she flew
Canadian Northwest to the oceans so blue
Roll on Columbia, roll on

Other great rivers add power to you
Yakima, Snake, and the Klickitat, too
Sandy Willamette and Hood River too
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

Tom Jefferson's vision would not let him rest
An empire he saw in the Pacific Northwest
Sent Lewis and Clark and they did the rest
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

It's there on your banks that we fought many a fight
Sheridan's boys in the blockhouse that night
They saw us in death but never in flight
So roll on Columbia, roll on

At Bonneville now there are ships in the locks
The waters have risen and cleared all the rocks
Shiploads of plenty will steam past the docks
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

And on up the river is Grand Coulee Dam
The mightiest thing ever built by a man
To run the great factories and water the land
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

These mighty men labored by day and by night
Matching their strength 'gainst the river's wild flight
Through rapids and falls, they won the hard fight
So roll on, Columbia, roll on!"

23 May 2006


Our car, our beautiful car, is dead. She never even really had a name... too new to have character, too old to be cool...

It all started on Saturday as we were driving up to Orange County for the wedding of this guy from church. Ken was supposed to be an usher, and that morning we realized we had forgotten to get them a present, so we left with plenty of time to spare. However, while cruising up the 5 in San Clemente, the poor car just froze right up. Fortunately, we were going downhill and an exit was conveniently nearby. We coasted almost to a Mobil station. Ken got out and pushed the rest of the way.

You might be thinking - well since your car had almost 200K miles on it, you probably have AAA or a cell phone or both. Nope. Neither. We both felt really retarded (Ken felt especially bad) because we knew neither of our Dads would ever have let that happen.

[Can I just interject here, not to be bitter or anything - that I have not been in an accident since I was nearly killed that one time. Just for the record for all those lovely people who think I am a bad driver. I was. In the 90s. This is a whole new decade - a whole new century, in fact. So you don't have to let me drive your car, but please do not talk to me about it. Thanks.]

So anyway, we called Buzzy and she came down and got us, and Ken arranged to have the car towed to a local auto shop, which it was, and then they called us later to tell us the problem was the engine (great!). To fix would cost $2-3K. yikestabubba as moisie used to say. So now we are thinking new car (new to us, that is). We are getting lots of advice from people and our own strong opinions are coming out. MINE (since this is MY blog, YO) is that I don't believe in buying new cars, since like Mealtime says, they decrease by like $5K when you drive them off the lot, plus I don't believe in car payments. I also don't believe in American cars. So basically I vote for buying a Toyota or Honda that's a couple years old with 50-75K miles on it (ideally). However - great ideas like that cost like $10K. ANYWAY.

In case you were curious, we made it to the wedding when the flower girl was walking down the aisle. Pretty awesome. Unless you are supposed to be an usher. Don't worry though - someone else was wearing a black suit and fit right in. It was kind of a low key wedding. I thought I wouldn't care about my car so much but I felt kind of disturbed the whole day. And I have been feeling that way since. I really hate mooching rides off people. REALLY. It is one of the most annoying feelings ever. No one has acted like we were really putting them out, but I still feel bad. Everyone has been really nice.

Tonight was Bethy's thesis defense and she kicked butt. Larry and Nancy are here to see her graduate. We are having a huge party on Saturday. The Ericksons are coming on Friday. Tomorrow and the next day are the board meetings. I am looking forward to memorial day and then Eagle Crest so I can relax, and go on a bike ride so I don't get fat.

I've been thinking I need to take preventative measures against adult onset diabetes. I know I don't look fat (thank you) but I have a lot of body fat (muffin top, which is really bad for you), plus it's in my family. I need to try to eat more fruits, veggies and whole grains. But to really do that successfully, I need to quit my job. So I guess I'll keep eating Panda Express for now, and put Laurel's Kitchen back on the shelf. :( To legitimately stay home, I would have to have some kids anyway. Right? You can't just stay home and be a housekeeper. Unless you're Aunt Jamesina from Anne of... hmmm... Anne goes to College? What was that one called? Anne of Windy Poplars? Remember Aunt Jamesina who stayed with Anne and Philippa and kept house for them?

AHHHHHHHHHHHH. I haven't been by myself in like 3 months! It feels SOOO GOOOOOD!

06 April 2006

The Adventurous Type

After figuring out that I'm the adventurous type who is always antsy to go new places and try new stuff, I am wondering: Are you the adventurous type too? Or are you comfortable and content where you are?

Speaking of content... that's probably the biggest downside to wanting to go on adventures all the time... it can stem from being discontent.

17 March 2006

St. Patty's day

Is anyone else wearing orange today to celebrate their Protestant-ness? Or is it just me?

Tonight we're celebrating with corned beef and cabbage. Yum.

03 March 2006

Ready to be Weirded Out?

For those of you who remember this church before it became a Tim-Keller-carbon-copy, check this out.

Especially interesting is the "History" tab under "Identity & Mission." If you are a Hitchman, you'll find it interesting, I am sure.

24 February 2006


These are from some 2004 Alma Heights thing. So cute.



Here is our cute little OPC High School Winter Camp staff team. L-R: Phil Nakhla, Rev. Roger Wagner, Bill Parkinson, Dave Crum, Ken, Jane Crum, me, Susan Winslow, Linda Pasarilla, and Sami & Kevin Brandon.

Notes of interest and fame:
- Yep, Phil Nakhla is one of the famous Nakhlas from Calvary OPC in La Mirada.

- Roger Wagner is the famous pastor of Bayside OPC in Chula Vista (San Diego).

- Bill Parkinson's fake Ugg Boots are actually from Costco. Aren't they awesome? He is from an OPC in Torrance that used to be pentecostal but became Reformed over the course of many years. He brought like 20 kids with him!

- Dave & Jane Crum are from Tijuana and are missionaries sent out by the So. Cal Presbytery of the OPC. Before becoming a missionary, Dave played McGivor (sp?) on TV, I am told. Just kidding. But seriously. Dave was the camp director, and Jane cooked awesome food for us all weekend.

- Susan Winslow is just completely awesome. She thinks she might be too old to be a counselor. But the high school girls think she is really great. They love to hear about how she met Dave. The Winslows are from Westminster OPC (formerly Garden Grove) and Dave Winslow is Pam Majauskas's brother.

- Linda came and helped Jane cook! She is from the OPC in Costa Mesa.

- The Brandons are from Faith OPC in Long Beach. Kevin can solve a Rubix cube in 45 seconds. He is like the 125th best Rubix-cube solver in the world. Sami is a teacher and a co-worker of Buzzy's at the Christian school at Westminster OPC. She went to Biola and knows Jessica Jamison!

* Just a little FYI... my team, "My Way or the Highway to Hell," came in 2nd for skits. We were awesome though... we won first place for costumes. We had a Wizard of Oz theme and I was the cowardly lion. My costume was seriously awesome. Tabitha (from HARVEST, Represent) won best actress for her performance as Glinda the Good Princess, and Daniel won Best Line for his little soliloquy as the Scarecrow. I personally thought all of our team was great. We seriously were Oscar material.

02 February 2006

Three Things

OK. I am posting. Finally! You probably thought I was dead.

Three things:

1. I bought beer today and WAS NOT CARDED. What in the world? Was it my matronly outfit? The glasses? The grey hair? grrrrrrrrrr. I am never wearing that outfit again.

2. We are all moved in to the Avocado House!! It is so great and quiet and fun and huge. The view of the city lights from up on top of the hill is AMAZING! If anyone wants to come visit, there are 6 places for you to sleep (counting the weird long and wide cupboard if you want to pretend you're Fernando from Catacombs)

3. If you have nothing to eat except pantry items, try this: just make some pasta with white sauce (melt 2 T. butter in a saucepan, then stir in salt, pepper and 2 T. flour until bubbly, then stir in 1 c. milk and boil and stir for one minute. I added some basil to make a pretend creamy-pesto sauce).

To make it seem more real, throw in a vegetable. I found a red pepper and cut it up and threw it in. It was gourmet! mwa! (kiss)