Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Noey's first gingerbread house...so proud!


M&Ms keep mysteriously disappearing...hmmm....


Festive events = lots of time spent primping...

Joe took me to see "The Nutcracker"
What a man I have!


A Christmas party in LA = fun dancing in a special dress

Quality 'Train' time with good friends.  Emilee destroyed us all!


Dan and Emilee's son Jack won Noey's heart. 


Paul came to visit!!!


Joe glues and glues and glues as our Nativity pieces just can't quite stand up to a 2 year old who's IN LOVE with the story and person of Baby Jesus


My little bookworm loves her spot by the tree


Making cookies with best friend Silas. 


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sweet Dreams

After a day with only a very small nap for a very small girl, I was a little discouraged to hear singing coming from her room rather than snoring when I put her to bed.  But it did quiet down, and my heart melted at this sight I came across as I crept down the hallway to go to bed last night. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

the blitz

These last three weeks have been full, unique, and very special.  Joe flew to South Africa for two weeks to participate in a conference there, and Noelle and I traveled to Colorado to be with family and friends while our 'prince' was gone.  We reunited in California for five days, and we leave today for 10 more days of travel, conferences, and meetings.  Whew!  What could have been a very difficult season, has been so full of blessings thus far.  God has given all three of us safety, health, joy in our hearts, and great memories.  Thank you Lord for the family, friends (old and new), and experiences you've given us these weeks!  

Below is a quick highlight of some of them.  More to come later...

Joe reuniting with our good friend LuLu

Joe's table at the conference

We spent a day at the zoo with my good friend Liz and her kiddos


We toured a Fort Collins' pumpkin patch with Viv and Freesia


Mickey Mouse has captured the heart of all three girls!
  A month of firsts...Noey loved carving her first pumpkin with Grandpa T.  And she felt so beautiful and giddy as she trick-or-treated for the very first time! 

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yum

Our trip to Riley's Farm was not only fun, it inspired Emilee and I to make homemade caramel apples.  This recipe is sinful and decadent, and definetely worth repeating.  I got a little involved chatting and didn't measure the brown sugar accurately...not the best idea.  Made for some VERY chewy caramel.  So measure carefully, but enjoy! 

Caramel-Dipped Apples

1 1-pound box dark brown sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon robust-flavored (dark) molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt

12 chopsticks
12 medium apples
Assorted decorations (such as chopped nuts, dried apricots and dried cranberries, toffee bits, mini M&M's and candy sprinkles) Melted dark, milk and/or white chocolates

Combine first 8 ingredients in heavy 2 1/2-quart saucepan (about 3 inches deep). Stir with wooden spatula or spoon over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves (no crystals are felt when caramel is rubbed between fingers), occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 15 minutes.

Attach clip-on candy thermometer to side of pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook caramel at rolling boil until thermometer registers 236°F, stirring constantly but slowly with clean wooden spatula and occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, about 12 minutes. Pour caramel into metal bowl (do not scrape pan). Submerge thermometer bulb in caramel; cool, without stirring, to 200°F, about 20 minutes.

While caramel cools, line 2 baking sheets with foil; butter foil. Push 1 chopstick into stem end of each apple. Set up decorations and melted chocolates.

Holding chopstick, dip 1 apple into 200°F caramel, submerging all but very top of apple. Lift apple out, allowing excess caramel to drip back into bowl. Turn apple caramel side up and hold for several seconds to help set caramel around apple. Place coated apple on prepared foil. Repeat with remaining apples and caramel, spacing apples apart (caramel will pool on foil). If caramel becomes too thick to dip into, add 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream and briefly whisk caramel in bowl over low heat to thin.

Chill apples on sheets until caramel is partially set, about 15 minutes. Lift 1 apple from foil. Using hand, press pooled caramel around apple; return to foil. Repeat with remaining apples.

Firmly press decorations into caramel; return each apple to foil. Or dip caramel-coated apples into melted chocolate, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in nuts or candy. Or drizzle melted chocolate over caramel-coated apples and sprinkle with decorations. Chill until decorations are set, about 1 hour. Cover; chill up to 1 week.

Bon App├ętit
October 1999

Sunday, October 10, 2010

An apple a day

Who knew you could pick apples in Southern California??  Deciding to ignore the heat and participate in some serious fall festivities, we headed to the hills with our friends the Cooks in search of the juiciest apple.  Riley's Farm did not disappoint.  Granted, it was quirky. Half was themed "Colonial" and half "Revolutionary"so there were costumed employees, complete with blacksmith, white-haired judges, soldiers, and peasants.  There were mock rile shootings, trials, and farming.  After growing up in Virginia, it seemed very "Jamestown-esque" or "Williamsburg-y", only tiny and very random.  But the apples were begging us to pick them, and we found them to be truly scrumptious.  And who doesn't enjoy a good rile line-up now and then?







Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sweet Love

Wedding weekend in the Maschhoff household!  My beloved sister-in-law Kristine traded in her last name for a really great guy last Saturday.  We are thrilled to have Michael Eller join the fam. 

While it was unseasonably HOT last weekend in Southern California, the festivities were endless and the wedding timeless.  Joe was honored to perform the wedding ceremony for Kristine and Michael, and did awesome.  I wondered whether the tears would flow, but he remained composed and gave an inspiring charge to both those in attendance, as well as Michael and Kristine.  Noelle was pleased to be asked to be a flower girl at the ceremony, but this flower wilted under the pressure.  Tears DID flow, and she instead made a very beautiful niece on a church pew. 

Micheal and Kristine's reception took place in a vintage car museum...so cool.  We loved the street tacos, the champagne bar, the 'shake your booty' music that we didn't recognize (it was a humbling moment in realizing my age), how they smeared cake on each other's faces, the gorgeous table settings, and most of all... Michael and Kristine Eller! 

Here's to Michael and Kristine....may your love deepen and grow, may your marriage be filled with blessings, and may you more acutely know and experience the depths of your Savior as you live this new life united as one.  We love you!

The flower girl and a precious niece and nephew


The Bride and Groom
 The Kiss! (I like Lee's thumbs-up of approval)


Presented to you for the first time....Mr. and Mrs. Michael Eller


The post cake-smashing make-up smooch!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Beach Day

Hooray for family!  We are LOVING having the Davis' with us this week!  Kristi, Jens, Viv, and Freesia endured a 26-hour road trip (through the night and with a fever-ed child), to join us in California this week.  We spent two days at the beach, so fun.  The weather was pleasant, but not real warm (75 degrees).  Jens braved the wind and cold Pacific waters and spent lots of time in the waves.  Vivian and Freesia also enjoyed splashing around.  Noelle, their warm-blooded cousin, felt the weather was not quite up to par to be one with the sea.

Two princesses
Noelle loved 'helping Freesia' at the beach, and exploring with Daddy
Does it get any cuter??
Vivian was a real beach bum.  She loved swimming, digging, and examining the tide pools.

The daddies and girls with a baby crab




Thursday, August 5, 2010

Beef to the Bourguignon

Yum. Perhaps it's because it's approaching dinner time. Perhaps it's the wine I'm sipping. Perhaps it's because I miss Amy...and Paris. Or perhaps it's because it's just soooo delicious. But I am CRAVING some scrumptious 'beouf bourguignon' (that's beef bourguignon for those of us from the U. S. of A.). Joe treated me to this delicious dish on my birthday in Paris, at a lovely street side bistro. Words cannot describe.


Later my sister Amy (a.k.a. Julia Childs) prepared me her version of this traditional dish.


Masterpiece!!



Seeing as I don't plan on spending several hours making dinner tonight, and we are a LONG plane flight from that lovely bistro, I suppose I'll have to cover this craving with another. Chocolate anyone??

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dallas Zoo

After visiting good friends, and making some new ones in Dallas, TX this past weekend, we enjoyed a trip to the Dallas Zoo. We were warned that this zoo wasn't perhaps the greatest in the country, but we found that for a two-year-old's second trip ever to the zoo, it was perfect! This zoo recently put a lot of time and money into their African exhibit and we loved getting up close and personal with many of the animals.

Feeding the giraffe his "salad" was Noelle's personal highlight.


She spent a long time studying the cheetah.



May she never get this close to another lion.... at least without some VERY thick glass in between.


Despite the 95 degrees and 100% humidity we had a great day!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Green

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Thanks to the desire, research, and spunk of our good friends Brandon and Kristin, we got to enjoy a real Irish treat this St. Patty's Day.

Corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and some good ol' black and tans.

Ay laddie... it's a tradition worth repeatin'.










Post-dinner ice cream and fountain fun...

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

February Fun

Princess Night at Chick-Fil-A. Carriage rides, LOTS of princess dresses, and free food.








2 weeks of rain...which meant snow for the mountains out our window.



80 degree weather and fresh-squeezed orange juice.




A fire burns in my heart...and my hearth

My wonderful husband put in a gas fireplace for us this month. We love it! Noelle and I spend every morning there...she with her milk, me with my coffee, and both of us with our Bibles. It is treasured time every day. We awoke on Valentine's Day and found not only our burning fire, but two beautiful bouquets. What a man!


It's true...flowers melt a girl's heart...