Friday, October 24, 2014

Changes Ahead...

 
Colorado...
 
"Home Sweet Home"
 






"Pikes Peak"
 
The view from those front windows thrills me every time! Never in my wildest imaginings did I ever think I would live IN the Rockies! But I'm convinced some places are just too small for some people. I guess for now we are meant to live where it's big, wide open, with actual fresh, clean air and room to breathe and experience roaming room like never before. 



"Sunrise"
 
Something I was used to seeing growing up but I've missed seeing for the 9 years since living here at this place. Not complaining. Just saying. Some things are hard to get used to.
 

Behind the house
 


And the views from the very top of the 'hill' above the house!
 









One of the things that thrills me the most about this move is that the men of the house are super, super thrilled about living somewhere they have always dreamed of living. Truly, I have not seen them this excited about anything. Ever. That alone, to me, makes the huge changes that will be necessary absolutely worth it! And my daughter is a lot like me and just loves the outdoors and being in it and looks forward to spending time with her pony where she has lots of room to ride. And as long as we can be where our men are, we feel happy and content. :)

~ Yes, life will be different.
~ No, we're not crazy!
~ Yes, we might miss some conveniences like 3 grocery store within 5 minutes in 3 different directions. And a host of other things we take for granted.
~ Yes, I know, planting flowers, or anything for that matter, will be very different if not downright difficult at close to 9000 ft. above sea level!! But then, Eden isn't so much a place to live as it is an attitude of the heart. And this rugged, beautiful land is an Eden of it's own.
~ Was it a difficult decision? Not really, when God speaks to you, He makes your paths straight if you have the guts to say yes. He's always Faithful!
~ Was it a sudden decision? No, it took us 10 years! to have enough guts to say that Yes!
~ Do we feel a lot of support? Yes and No. Some people don't get it. That's okay, God approves, and that's what matters. Then there are others who totally do get it and are super excited with us. That's refreshing! :)
~ Are we excited? Absolutely!
And the kids were all in from the very beginning, no bribery, arm twisting, or seduction of any kind was used to get their yes. That was a Blessing!

Plans are to move after school ends in the Spring. But secretly we all pray our house here sells before that so we can pack up and go! :)

Thanks for stopping in. I hope your day is Blessed!

♥♥♥


 


Monday, October 6, 2014

Caramel Cheesecake





So I had an open can of dulce de leche in the fridge and thought maybe before I/we eat it all with apples (not that that would be so bad but...) I could maybe concoct a rich creamy cheesecake with it? Ahh, Yum!!
 
I was originally going to name it after one of my favorite turtle candies (Coblentz Chocolate where are you when I need you?!) and really deck it out but decided it's rich and decadent enough without adding MORE caramel and MORE chocolate. And the truth is, it would work with pecans as well and maybe even as a caramel apple cheesecake? Who knows? I decided to leave it plain and make the decision of which piece by piece as I/we go along.
 
And just for the record, I have no plans of feeding this whole thing to me or my family so if you are local and need a dessert, or simply want a taste :) Please do not hesitate to give me a shout out and say you want it. I merely wanted the pleasure of creating and a tiny taste and that's all over with now so , yeah, do stop in!!
 
I did add cashews to the crust but roasted pecans or even roasted peanuts would be perfect as well, so, there ya have it, I couldn't decide. I could tell you that indecision is unusual for me because I pretty much see things in black and white and know what it is that I want or don't want but this is not one of those important things where it's really useful to know for sure, so... not gonna insist on either/or. Ha!
 
Preheat oven to 300°.
Place a small bowl (ovenproof) of water on the bottom rack. Makes the top of the cheesecake glossy :)
 
Crust:
1¾ cups crushed chocolate cookie crumbs
¾ cup almond flour
2/3 cup roasted, salted cashews
 
Pulse to chop in a food processor (love my Ninja!) then when it's super fine and the cashews are evenly chopped add 7 Tablespoons cold butter, and mix well. Press into a prepared 10 inch Spring form pan. (By prepared I mean, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper with the pan apart. Place the outer rim over the bottom and close the clasp. Cut the excess paper off with a scissors and spray the bottom (paper) and sides lightly with non stick spray and wipe excess with a paper towel if necessary). Press the crumbs on the bottom and evenly up the sides about 1 inch. Set aside.
 
Cake:
6 (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temp.
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
6 eggs, room temp.
 
Dulce de leche, to swirl
 
In a mixer bowl combine the cream cheese, sugars, vanilla, and salt. Beat on high several minutes until creamy and fluffy. Scrape down sides as needed.
 
In a separate bowl beat the eggs. Pour into mixer and mix until incorporated. Don't over mix! You know, cracks in the cheesecake and all that if you do.
 
Pour half of batter into prepared crust. Drop small dollops of caramel randomly over the batter. Use a wooden skewer to create a swirly effect. Use quick motions and don't stick the skewer too far down into the batter for best results. Pour the rest of the batter over top and repeat with the caramel. Place Spring form pan on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
 
Bake for 1 hour or till sides look puffed and dry. Turn the oven heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon handle for another hour. This also helps prevent cracks from forming by allowing the cheesecake to cool down slowly.
 
Allow to cool on the counter and then refrigerate over night, lightly covered with a tea towel (to absorb condensation) before removing from pan and serving.
 
Garnish as desired.
 
 
 
Blessings to you!
 
 
 


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wedding...

Photo overload...
Don't say I didn't warn you!

We were in Ohio for a beautiful wedding on the home farm. The day was gorgeous and perfect for an outdoor ceremony by the big pond. For many reasons this spot is one of my favorite places. But I'm sure I'm biased... :)
 

 



The barn that held the reception was just built in the last few years and isn't used in a typical barn fashion so it was still relatively 'clean' and with a good scrubbing filled the bill quite nicely.
 
 
 
This wedding was extra special to us. My nephew has been a great friend to all of our boys even though he is 3 years older than our oldest son and 7 years older than our youngest one. When we visit Ohio he was the one who always had time to hang out with them and Trish  was a great sport and shared quite nicely! :) I'm sure things will be slightly different (no sleepovers, haha) but the boys were assured that they would still be more than welcome at 'The New Digs'.
 
 
Jordon and Trish
Could they be any cuter?!
And every bit as sweet as they are good looking!
Again... I'm probably biased, but still... :)

 
 
I loved this part!
A little of the back story. They wanted to do the dove (well, pigeons, really) release but didn't have any so after the rehearsal Jordon and his Dad Joe (black tie on the right) got permission from the neighbors to catch a few of the ones that roost in their barn after dark. Perfect! I'm sure the doves soon made their way home to a familiar perch after being released.
 
~~~~Some Details~~~~
 
 
In Memory of Loved Ones who watched from Heaven
 
 
Shout out to my Sister Becky who has amazing artistic talent and wrote the sign you see at the last minute. I keep urging her to quit hiding her talent and do something with it. Someday... :) I think she's working her way in that direction.
 
 
Instead of a regular guest register Trish had a puzzle made of the photo you see and we wrote our names, etc. on the backs of the pieces.
 
 

 
 
 
 
~~~Behind The Scenes~~~
 
The flowers were beautiful, and done by 'impromptu florist' Andrew Poulson. He did a great job! I was told to give him a hand when he needs it but seeing as I have somewhere around zero talent for that kind of thing and he was quite handy with it all, I would merely check in now and then to make sure his head was still up out of the water and then leave him to it.
 
 
Andrew and another Ohio beauty, :) see? still biased..
my niece Rachael, Sister of the Groom.
 
Terrell, Brother of the Bride
 
And this became Serena's new friend. She spent most of the two days he was there hanging out around the pond catching fish with their hands and this monster bull frog.
 
 
Serena was in her glory. I saw a bit more of her girly side this weekend than I usually do. She was totally into the decorating details and everything , well, at least she was when she wasn't around the pond catching frogs. ha

 
Making sure Chloe feels taken care of.

 
Shawn in his glory as Chloe pretend sleeps, such a cutie!

 
You know... the chickens still need feed, even if there's a wedding going on. My brother Dean left for Spain early the next morning and discovered the morning of the wedding that the chicken feed would indeed get all while he's gone so it was business as usual for him.
 
 
Yep, that's us... in all our glory. :)
 
Blessings!
♥♥♥

Thursday, September 4, 2014

~ Fog & Divine Appointments

 
Posting these for Betsy :)
 
 
There's something so appealing
about a fog that makes a mystery out of ordinary places.
 
 
It's peaceful and gives permission to halt or at
least slow down from the headlong rush
that most of us engage in every day.
I'm convinced we miss many a
divine appointment
because of the rush
of our lives.

 
What was your Divine appointment today?
 
God will give you one or two or ten every day
if you ask Him for them.
 
I don't feel the need to
 share the specific one I had today,but I did ask
Him for one this morning and He was gracious and gave one.
Having conversations with Him is a highlight of my day.
 
I refuse to be rushed.
The possibility of missing something
He is trying to tell me is too great! 
 
 
And just for interest I added a Winter shot of the same place.
It's warm and muggy today and made me wish for cool/cold temperatures.
It's almost around the corner and I'm psyched about it!
How about you? :)

 
Have a blessed evening!