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A week to cherish...

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I recently returned from a trip from Oregon to see my sister. I spent 10 glorious days with this precious family. I am so glad I had the opportunity to spend so much time with my sister. I drove her to radiation every day, spent countless hours talking to Steff and playing with my precious nephews. I was able to see for myself how she was "holding up"! She is doing remarkably well. All of the Dr's. are amazed at how her body is handling chemo and radiation and how her spirit is handling cancer. She is truly the example of a godly woman. She is finding joy through this trial and coming out victorious. 

Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow my sister starts radiation. My sister is at such peace about all of this. She is truly putting to test all that we have been taught about trusting God through trials in our lives. I am so proud of her.Steffy recently had a friend offer to take family photos for them. I love how they all turned out! It captures her spirit and the joy that radiates out of her. Love you sister.

My sister

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It has been a rough month on our family. My beautiful sister was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Mulitforme Brain Tumors at the end of August. I had just posted about the wonderful time I had at home visiting our family. It is crazy, shocking and unbelievable. How does such a HUGE change happen in just a few short weeks? There is no answer. Sometimes this just happens to young, healthy people. I am standing on Gods Word. God does not change his character no matter what happens in our lives. I am believing and trusting in my Saviour for the days, weeks and months ahead. My sister is amazing. She always has been from the time Jenny (my baby sister) and I were little. She is the best story teller and would make up amazing stories to tell us. She is kind, encouraging and such a wonderful Mom. She is humble and graceful. I always wanted to be just like her when I was little.




When friends come to town...

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My friend Holly came to visit this week. I had such a great time catching up with her. She moved away a couple months ago and left a big hole in my life. She has been one of my running friends for the last couple of years. It worked out that she was able to stay a couple days with me. We did so many fun things together. We got to go on several runs. She has become quite the speedster. We definitely challenge each other in our runs. We also got to do one of our favorite things. Goodwilling! When she lived her we would go several times a week after the gym. It was such a fun day. On Tuesday night we had our friends over for an appetizer/wine evening. Holly and I both love to cook and share recipes. We spent the afternoon preparing for our special dinner. She made Ina's Brownie Pudding with Anna. YUM! It was an absolutely lovely evening visiting with friends. I did something that I never do on a "school night". I went to a 9:30 movie with several of the ladies. We all wante…

The many adventures of summer on a farm.

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We just got home from a two week vacation to Oregon and Wa. We go home every summer to visit our families. It is definitely one of the hard things about being so far away from "home". Our kids don't get to spend a lot of time with there grandparents. The kids had an especially good time this year.
Anna loves helping in the garden, gathering eggs, riding the neighbors horse and feeding the sheep at my parents small farm. It is so fun seeing her having so much fun with her baby cousins and soaking up time with my parents. They even took the kids camping and on a fishing trip.
At the other grandparents house they played with cousins, picked blueberries from some of there many bushes, rode the four wheelers and played in the woods. Marks parents live on a wooded lot and it is great for building forts or just having adventures with the cousins that are all the same age.


 








 

Cheesey Pasta = perfect comfort food

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Yesterday was the kind of day when you need a bowl of comfort. Yes, it was a hot and humid but we have been eating so many salads and fresh vegetables over the last few weeks. We needed a change. I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman's blog and did a little tweaking. Mark ate the entire bowl of gnocchi with cheese, pesto and cherry tomatoes. I served with a side of farmer markets marinated fresh tomatoes. It was so good!
Gnocchi with Pesto, Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes
I used a package of Gnocchi and cooked according to directions. Save 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 TBS fresh pesto
1/2 cup cooking water
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
Transfer hot gnocchi to large bowl and add cream cheese, water, cherry tomatoes, garlic, pesto and basil. Mix well so cheese melts. Season with salt, pepper and add Parmesan. Enjoy.

Changes

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This past month has been full of changes for me. I have had to say goodbye to several dear friends and neighbors. I also had my running partner move to another state. The kids are out of school and home all day. It really is nice having lots of freedom in the summer but I miss my routines. We joined a swim team this month and have gotten to participate in several swim meets. A big first for the kids! My son is no longer in Elementary School. He celebrated his birthday and is now 11. I feel a little lost right now. Not sure what direction I should be heading, I start to feel like this once we get close to moving. I am trying to stay connected and remember we still have a year before our next move but it is hard. I miss my friends and the  routine that I had last year. I loved going to the gym in the morning and running with the same ladies. We shared so many miles together. I am trusting God through all the changes and trying to see where he is leading me next. My verse is:
 Jeremiah 29…

When brownies fail, make trifle

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  For the Brownies—
Melt:
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
2 T. cocoa powder
1 T. instant coffee granules
Stir in:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. table salt
3 eggs
Fold in:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350° and coat an 8" square baking pan with nonstick spray.
Melt chocolate, butter, cocoa powder, and coffee for brownies in a bowl in a microwave on full power, stirring every 30 seconds (or in a heavy saucepan over low heat). Remove when chocolate is nearly melted and stir until totally smooth.
Stir in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.
Fold in flour. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake 350 for 30-40 minutes
Salty Caramel Topping
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
couple drops of lemon juice
cook in heavy duty pan until color of tea. Swirl to dissolve sugar but do not stir with spoon. Off heat add 6 TBS butter and 1TBS rum. Add 1 cup salted peanuts and p…

Birthday Boy

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We had a good time celebrating Jonathan's birthday. Can't believe how big our first born is! I took some pictures when our good friends came to visit last month. I was comparing the two buddies from when they were little till now. They have grown-up so much. What hasn't changed is the fun they have together! They have been best buddies since birth.  I think it might have something to do with Jen and I having so many play dates together when our kids were little.   I made a really yummy cake for Jonathan's birthday. The frosting is the BEST part. Peanut Butter Frosting 3/4 cup peanut butter 1 stick butter 3 cups sifted powdered sugar 1/4 cup milk   2 tsp vanilla Beat Peanut Butter and butter in bowl until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, mixing until smooth and creamy. Enjoy! We ate this on the cake with raspberries and then used the leftovers for dipping graham crackers in. Happy Birthday Jonathan!  



Girl Scout Camp

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Saturday was another fun day for the Friesen ladies. Anna and I headed off to Camp Whip-Poor-Will for Girl Scout Camp. We chose not to overnight camp since it was over Mothers Day weekend. We took 5 of our 8 girls with us.This was our first year as Leaders and we got to decide the activities for the kids. We did the Climbing Wall, Capture the Flag, Obstacle/Relay Course,Outdoor Cooking and Domino Diva Crafts. We were so thankful that the rain held off for most of the day.
We had a few mishaps along the way. Anna slipped during the Capture the Flag game and fell into a mud hole. She wasn't thrilled about being covered in mud. Luckily, we brought an extra change of clothes for her. We also had most of the girls drop there food in the dirt during Outdoor Cooking.
We all came home happy and tired. Next year we are talking about camping overnight. I don't know how I will do without my coffee. There are rumors that Leaders are not allowed to use the kitchen to make coffee in the mo…

Easter Egg Treats

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Anna wanted to make some special Easter Egg Treats to give to her teachers at school. Her friend Anna came over yesterday to help decorate all of the mini egg cakes. She got them decorated, packaged and wrote notes to send along with them. Happy Easter!

Corn and Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese

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I had some friends over and wanted to make a healthy lunch for us. Yesterday was the perfect opportunity to try this recipe! It turned out great and we had enough leftovers to use for another meal. The lunch and the time with girlfriends was so much fun. I did a little tweaking of the recipe and added extra garlic and chili flakes to my bowl.