Monday Meal Plan on Tuesday *Again*

I’ve got some big news…

(NO. I am NOT pregnant.)

I got a promotion!

This is mostly why it’s been so quiet around these parts, I’ve been trying to keep it on the DL until a bit closer to my start date, but I just can’t resist anymore. Plus, we’re due for a “Monday” meal plan.

I will still be working with New Americans but now, instead of the Employment Specialist, I will be the Resettlement Coordinator for the Grand Forks office. I.am.STOK.ED. (<–So stoked I had to separate that last word into two. I know, party animal.) So instead of focusing mainly on employment for clients, I will be overseeing my sub-office (LSS is based out of Fargo), completing assurances, finding apartments, working on community relations & giving presentations, writing grants, etc. It’s a big step, a big promo for me, and I can’t wait to start.

I’ve been training on and off throughout last week and my first day will be Monday, March 18th. (It’s getting SO close.) Then after that I have a relatively quiet week to situate myself into the new position before all the conferences barrage my spring schedule (Building Bridges, LIRS/EMM—luckily for me they’re doing a tri-agency conference this year so I don’t have to worry about being gone for 2 weeks, and NDACP). It’ll definitely be a “jumping in” experience but I’m looking forward to it (anticipating it gleefully, even…there may be something wrong with me).

This change also means we’ll get to see a bit more of Dylan, which the girls and I are exceptionally excited about. Instead of being gone Thursday-Monday every other week, we’ll just be Daddy/husband-less for Saturday-Monday. Much, much, MUCH more manageable. And since this is the weekend that he works, I’m excited to see how much quicker it will pass by since it’s only three days now…

“Monday” Meal Plan 3.4-3.10

Monday 3.4
D: Tacos (because we have a ton left from Ada’s party)
Tuesday 3.5
D: Eat the World: Bosnia and Herzgovina …Seriously. We’re actually going to make it happen tonight.
Wednesday 3.6
D: Coconut shrimp soup w/cilantro
Thursday 3.7
D: Nellie & Dylan will be on their own as Ada and I will be in Fargo getting fitted for dresses for my cousin’s wedding.
Friday 3.8
B: Pancakes (I typically freeze leftover pancakes every other week that I make them so that I can use them as quick and easy breakfasts/snacks. Put 1-2 in the microwave for about 40 seconds and they’re good to go.)
L & Tea: Ada will be at Grandpa Terry’s
D: Pizza Night!
*Extra*
Feed Brucie and mix up a sponge for Sourdough 1.
Saturday 3.9* Happy birthday Sheilaaaaaaa!
B: Rhubarb cream cheese strudel
L: Peanut Sesame Noodles
D: Birthday dinner for Sheila @ Texas Roadhouse
*Extra*
Mix & raise Sourdough 1 & mix up sponge for Sourdough 2.
Prep the scones to bake tomorrow morning.
Sunday 3.10*
B: Birthday scones for Sheila
L, Tea & Dinner: Terry & Sheila’s House
*Extra*
Bake Sourdough 1 & Final raise Sourdough 2 (bake Monday morning).

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Eat the World 20: Bolivia

Last Wednesday we sampled the cuisine of our 20th country on our Eat the World adventure. If you are wondering, we did indeed skip Bhutan but will be coming back to it later next week.

Bolivia is a South American country surrounded by Peru, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Brazil. While Dylan or I have never been there,we were familiar with the cuisine and culture since we lived in Ecuador for a year. In fact, looking through the pictures and answering Ada’s questions brought back a flood of fond memories such as this:

Rainy season fun.

And this:

Alabanza!

And this one too:

The square.

Basically, Bolivia brought so many memories still so fresh in the mind, and it’s been eight years past since our time spent there. EIGHT years. I can’t believe it. Bolivia was indeed a nice reminder of our old home.

At the time I was planning this meal I think that I was feeling a bit industrious, much more so that what I actually felt last Wednesday, so we ended up limiting my four piece menu down to two. I think that the avocado salad would’ve been pretty delicious but it was just one extra step and I don’t think that it would’ve tasted outrageously different than anything else we’ve ever sampled. I’m still a bit sad that we skipped out on baking the Cocadas (coconut candies, think macaroons), so I’ll probably attempt those sometime later this month just for fun. We’ll see.

The two recipes that did make the cut were Aji de Lentejas con Sarsa (Lentil stew with salsa) and Saltenas (Meat and potato hand pies). I opted to cut the stew servings in half because I wasn’t sure the girls would eat it…and I was right, except that Dylan and I definitely could’ve eaten more than the small bowls that it made. Ah well, proxima vez. It was a fairly simple, quick cooking stew (due to the lentils) and a great vegetarian option. I’d make this again for sure. You can find the recipe here.

The saltenas were a LOT more work. Dylan and the girls made the dough while I prepared the filling. Ada and Nellie loved the dough part because they got to play with their own piece of it. Rolling, shaping, squishing, all that good stuff. They were good, but I’m not sure that I’d remake these. They were just really large and quite dense. I’m a bigger fan of Ecuadorian (think crispy-fluffy fried) and Argentinian (think flakier-more pie-crust-like) empanadas. When the saltenas cooled they were like light dumbbells. Big, heavy, and SUPER filling. You can also find the recipe here.

I think the general consensus was that dinner was good but that it wasn’t necessarily something that we would repeat again out of craving. The stew might show up again because it’s cheap, healthy, and light…but if I’m going to put a lot of work into something, I’ll make mandu or biryani or something much else.

And just a fun video to round everything out: 

Bright and shiny

Goodbye Redrum!

Goodbye Redrum!

I am pleased to announce my departure from the REduRuM that I once called my office. Hurrah for me! No, I am not leaving my job but rather participated in a fairly large, inter-office switcheroo today. I am over.the.moon about it.

Before I had about a large, walk-in-closet space and would have to crawl/shimmy/awkwardly decide front or back when passing over my clients to retrieve papers from the printer during enrollments. I would constantly bang into the two drawer filing cabinet behind my chair because it stuck out an average amount and I had a not-meant-for-my-desk-hutch that took up more than its fair share of my work area. Not to mention that I shared my little RedRuM with interns as needed. And clients were constantly waiting for their appointments by just sitting in my office or peering into my door over my side shoulder as I tried to work. Not ideal.

This move is great. Great for us all. The women who moved back into our old office space now have room for the new supervisor they’re hiring by taking the two main offices open and the traveling, once-a-week supervisor will re-home in the RedRuM. (And truthfully, it is a small space but if we wouldn’t have moved and I would’ve stayed, I would’ve just dealt with it because I like my job.)

Goodbye inconvenient and insufficient work space!

Goodbye inconvenient and insufficient work space!

Bright and shiny! And very messy...

Bright and shiny! And very messy…

Which brings me to my new, bright and shiny office! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah! I may be teensy bit excited. 

I know it looks disastrous at the moment but my space has nearly tripled by this switch and now I have great space for paperwork and computer work (105+ application questionnaires may be the death of me) AND I have adequate space for clients to sit comfortably and work on applications, etc; AND I have comfortable space for an intern! AND, if that’s not good enough, I’ve got space to store kid supplies for little clients that aren’t in school yet. Needless to say because I’ve all but bashed your brains in about it, I’m excited. And happy. And excited.

Now it only they could get my NEW (didn’t I mention I also get a new, full-functioning) computer and phone line hooked up, we’d be golden…

#1000

I wrote earlier about reading a book focusing on thanksgiving and grace in life. You can read about it here.

In the book the author accepts a friendly challenge from a friend to record one thousand thanksgivings. One thousand praises in everyday life. It got me to thinking…I should do that. One of my biggest struggles is contentment.

How to be content and thankful is a practice that I have yet to master nor do I think that will be accomplished in any foreseeable future, but I don’t think that should be used as an excuse to not start. So I’m publicly challenging myself to record one thousand blessings and hopefully, will continue on. I know that by doing the same practice won’t necessarily end in the same results, but I also don’t think that it could hurt me either. Some say it takes 21 days to make a new habit, I managed to quit biting my fingernails (mostly), and I certainly think this is more important to mine and my family’s well-being. Although my nails are a pretty mint green right now.

I may or may not share some of these praises with you, some of these blessings. I’ve decided to start today–this weekend in an attempt to find beauty and grace in my everyday life. My attempt to find contentment in all plans laid before me. Who knows where this journey will lead?

Monday meal plan

Yesterday we spent the morning at church and skating with some friends. I wish I had some pictures BUT I was too busy enjoying the moment with Dylan and the two monsters. I’m proud to say that Ada did AH.sum. (ß I apologize for the overzealous use incorrect grammar, I got excited.) Seriously, she did SO well and both Dylan and I were so proud. She started off shaky as expected but gained so much confidence as the minutes ticked by and, did I mention this earlier?, I was and am SO proud. I am looking forward to many more years of Sunday mornings and evenings, week days and nights (you get the picture) of enjoying this pastime together.

So without further ado…

Monday Meal Plan : 1.7-1.13

1.7 Monday

Breakfast: Granola w/almond milk

Dinner: Belize (Because to be honest, last week’s meal plans pretty much flew out the window due to friends, dinners, and life’s general happenings. Stay tuned for pictures and a review of our meal as I am determined to get back on track for Eat the World.)

*Extra*

Bananananananananannanana bread because those bananas aren’t getting any younger.

Make x2 sour dough loaves for dinner tomorrow.

1.8 Tuesday

Breakfast: Bagels w/cream cheese

Dinner: Corn chowder with sourdough

1.9 Wednesday  

Breakfast: Granola w/yogurt & honey

Dinner: French onion grilled cheese sandwiches & salads

*Extra*

Fresh apple cake with caramel glaze.

1.10 Thursday **

Breakfast: Cereal w/fruit & milk
Dinner: Mexican-ish crock pot chicken tacos. I saw this floating around pretty rampantly on Pinterest and have decided to finally try it out. Wish me luck and maybe it’ll be a “Pin Win” on the next Pinteresting post.

1.11 Friday **

Breakfast: Toast w/butter, bagels w/cream cheese & juice

Tea Time: Leftover cake and assam w/sugar & milk.

Dinner: Homemade pizzas, toppings which will include: pepperoni, green olives, goat cheese, tomatoes, basil, and copious amounts of cheeses. My mouth is watering thinking about it.

1.12 Saturday **

Breakfast: Easy raspberry strudel. It’s so nom nom nommy.

Lunch: American goulash. Dylan’s gone so we can eat whatever we want! XD

Tea Time: Peanut butter honey milkshakes & pretzels

Dinner: Apple braised chicken w/basmati. This looks so good and I want to make more of a dent in the freezer goodies.

*Extra*

Buttermilk cookies w/caramel frosting. Which I will taste test with a huge, steamy mug of coffee while the girls nap. Mom win.

1.13 Sunday **

Breakfast: Maple bacon and apple baked French toast w/juice. I may even bring this over to Terry & Sheila’s for a surprise breakfast since she probably won’t read this. 😉

Lunch, Tea & Dinner: @ Terry & Sheila’s for Sunday

Happy birthday Nellie So!

Mommy and Nellie’s first picture.

Happy 2nd birthday to my beautiful Nellie So! Mommy and Daddy love you so, so, SO much!

You continue to inspire and delight us in ways that we never imagined. I remember two years ago, wondering if I could love another person as much as I love your Daddy and sister. But I did and I still do now, it’s amazing how God created our hearts to expand exponentially. It’s a gift that I hope you grow to understand and cherish as a mother someday (wait, that would make me a grandmother–I’ll slow it down now).

I remember that day so well, it was such a calm feeling, knowing that everything was under control and in mere hours you would be in my arms. It’s such a bittersweet memory, knowing that I can never revisit that time again, but that I have millions of more moments ahead with you.

Ada and Nellie meet for the first time.

You’ve developed such a little personality this year and it continues to keep us (and your sister) on our toes. I love that you’re such a little monster (in the fondest way of course) and your little growl. Your imagination is astounding and I am so happy that you are able to play right along with your sister now in your own imaginary world.

Daddy and Nellie

You’ve also got Daddy wrapped around your little finger. The way that you shriek with glee when he comes in the door warms my heart and I hope that you always consider yourself “Daddy’s little girl.” In fact, I don’t even mind that you ask for Daddy when I pick you up at daycare and bring you home. I’m just happy that you have such an upstanding man to look up to and learn what kind of person you deserve if one day you choose to get married. You Daddy loves you so much sweet one.

You are such a trooper, demanding and diligent as you are, you go with the flow consistently and are generally enthralled with new experiences. As we near our Mayo Clinic visit, I cling to the promise that Christ gave us when He called us to

“Cast all [our] anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

and know that no matter what happens, you will always be loved. You are a loved little one my dear, and you will be blanketed with prayers during our visit. Whether or not you understand what’s going on medically with you, all we want you to know is that you are loved from the top of your outrageous behaving hair to your cute, little blue butt.

I love your gusto for life and learning. Already you are singing your ABCs and counting along with your sister. It’s such a blessing for us to see you grow and I look forward to another, and another, and another after that.

Happy 2nd birthday my beautiful baby!

Going home

Moving Day!

Moving Day!

I was awaiting the day when blogger finally alerted me to the fact that I had outgrown the free space that I was allotted.

And yes, that day has finally come.

Being a cheapskate, I’ve decided to migrate over to wordpress.com as I’ve heard good things about this blogging site. Let’s hope it holds true as I re-emerge onto the self-reflective, indulgent, and sometimes poignant world of blogging.

So if you’re still trying to find me over at kimchisauerkraut.blogspot.com , you’ll be sorely disappointed to not find me there.

Thanks for Asking Love.

Seven years after you asked me the most important question I could answer;
I never imaged how good it would be.
I love you!

The Ever Ongoing Job Search

This is the photo that we sent Tahquitz Pines Conference Center on our resumes. We realized that this is probably our first photo all together (that we orchestrated) since being in the hospital recovery room. And it’s amazing how big Ada’s already gotten.

This week has gone by extremely fast, not only have we conferenced more with Alan from Tahquitz about the job there in California, but Dylan started his new job at LM Glassfiber and Ada spent her first night away from Mommy and Daddy (there were only a few tears…none of Ada’s however). It doesn’t seem like just a week ago that we were feeling discouraged that no one was interested in what we could offer and then, BOOM, God opened a door for us.

Katie and Dylan will be flying out to California on Tuesday morning to see the Conference Center and also talk some more with Alan and his wife, Linda. Ada and Moses will be staying at Grandma Sheila and Grandpa Terry’s. We would appreciate your prayers for safety, wisdom and peace as we embark on this part in our job search journey. It will be a time of bid decisions and it is our hearts’ desire that God would be leading when and where we choose to go. If this is the place that God wants to cultivate us as a family and as believers, this is where we want to be…please pray for the wisdom to be able to discern whatever it is that God puts on our hearts while we are there and for the peace that whatever decision it is that we make, is the right one.

Ada’s Dedication and Such

Last Sunday we not only celebrated Katie’s first Mother’s Day but also Ada’s dedication at church. We really enjoyed spending time with our family and friends that day and also appreciated the support that was shown by them being there. There is nothing that we want more than to raise Ada in a secure, loving home lead by deep faith. We want to raise her to know that she can make her own decisions and choose her own path, but ultimately we will always pray that she will choose the one that is specifically laid out for her by God. And we are thankful everyday that both of us were blessed to be raised in atmospheres that allowed us to become who we are and to develop the kind of faith that we prescribe to.