Month: December 2015

Elder Livi Update

Elder Livi Update

Elder Livi’s latest email from Dec.28, 2015: Buenas Tardes mis queridos amigos y familiares, I love y’all! Well, its been a great week. This morning, we (Elder A. and I) hiked to the cross and almost to the antennae of Huanuco, think Huaytapallana-style hike but in Huanuco. 

By the fireplace

By the fireplace

I had a rare quiet moment in front of the fire tonight, with no one in the room and the house still. I was thinking about the day and the snow and remembered a poem I love, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by 

Elder Livi update

Elder Livi update

Elder Livi snowflake Christmas 2015Elder Livi made this snowflake and sent the photo with his very short letter. (Snowflake making is his particular Christmas tradition.) He writes,

“Merry Christmas! Hope everyone is doing well. I made a Christmas
Snowflake. What says Christmas more than a Dino?

Love y’all!”
I’m just listening to his recording right now. He fixed his audio recorder! So we are getting audio recordings again, beginning today, it appears. It is SO fun to hear his voice. He started out by saying what a great companion he has! Hooray.

He had a multi-zone conference yesterday, so that’s why his email came today.

We talk to him in 3 days!!

He ends his recording to the family, “You’re far away but close in my heart.”

For previous Elder Livi updates, go here.

As a mother of many, finding peace during the Christmas season

As a mother of many, finding peace during the Christmas season

I always begin the season with great intentions: simplify, enjoy more, do a little less, focus on Christ more. And then the season gets into full swing, and I sometimes start to feel like my head is slipping under the wave of activities. Like last week, 

Last minute gift idea: father and son read

Last minute gift idea: father and son read

I gave this book to Peter this fall, and he loved it! Lane borrowed it from him, and loved it as well! Now I just need to read it. This version of the book The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown is a young reader’s 

Our favorite recipes with cardamom

Our favorite recipes with cardamom

Finnish cardamom
These recipes are especially for my friend Brooke!

There is nothing like Finnish cardamom. Just smelling the pungent aroma when opening the spice bottle practically makes my mouth water. I wish I knew where to buy it besides in Finland! My cousin brought some bottles back to me from Finland several years ago, and we have absolutely relished the breads, cookies, and even hot chocolate using it! Now we just need to go to Finland to get some more! 🙂

Our favorite ways to use cardamom are:

  • In pulla, a sweet Finnish bread. This bread is typically braided. We make it on special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays.
  • In Cherry Cardamom Bread, which recipe we got from Chef Brad. (Be sure to use tart dried cherries! I also use lactose-free milk in place of the cream.)
  • In Finnish gingerbread cookies
  • Hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate is Sarah’s recent invention. She melted some chocolate chips and butter together, then added the milk, vanilla (her Madagascar vanilla?), and some cardamom. Sorry, that’s as much of a recipe as I could get from her. Busy girl. No time for approximations! 🙂 No, that’s just how we do it when it comes to different kinds of cooking. Just taste your way through.

We also tried this recipe this summer–lemon cardamom cake–for Lane’s birthday. We recommend!

 

 

There’s Certainly a Santa

There’s Certainly a Santa

Some friends gave us such a kind gift this week: a book their friend wrote as a way to help children understand about Santa and turn that experience into an opportunity to make others happy at Christmas! It’s called, There’s Certainly a Santa by Chelsy Rippy and Tyler 

Elder Livi Update

Elder Livi Update

Next Friday we will get to Skype this beloved missionary on the left! And we also begin the countdown for the less-than-two months time he will have remaining on his mission. Here is his most recent letter from Monday, December 14: Wow, time goes by fast. It’s 

Aunt Sass

Aunt Sass

An
From Sarah, Christmas 2015.

Sarah gave me an early Christmas present today! It’s a book called Aunt Sass by P.L. Travers (author of Mary Poppins). Ms. Travers would, apparently, write stories for her friends at Christmastime, and this book is a collection of some of those. Aunt Sass is the aunt from whom Mary Poppins sprang.

She thought we would enjoy reading these stories together as a family during the Christmas break. I think that sounds like a fabulous idea!

(Note: We saw the movie “Saving Mr. Banks,”–the story about P.L. Travers and the history of the making of the Disney movie “Mary Poppins”–two years ago during the Christmas holiday as a family. It was more intense than I had anticipated (I hadn’t check online beforehand), so I would recommend watching it before sharing it with your children. That said, we loved it. It is one of those movies that increases your empathy and desire to not judge others.

Broccoli shrimp pesto linguine and beet salad

Broccoli shrimp pesto linguine and beet salad

For Rebecca’s birthday dinner earlier this week, we had an Italian dinner. She chose linguine with pesto sauce, shrimp and broccoli (well, actually, I made two kinds: white pasta with just pesto and shrimp and whole grain pasta with pesto, shrimp, and linguine.) She also