Sunday, December 5, 2010

Recent Happenings

Well our weeks have definitely been busy lately. I have kept up with Soup Sunday's with making a Chicken and Parsnip soup that was delicious and then last week I made Split Pea soup. It has been a while since I have had split pea and my memories of it tasted a lot better than the one I made. Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

We had a snow storm a couple weeks ago, Thomas and I had to go to Seattle on the first snow day and got stuck on 512 for about 3 hours due to a truck jack-knife. Thomas was a great husband and pushed me out of the snow so that I could get home and he waited for his dad to come rescue him in the truck and pull him out. It was such an emotional day and neither of us have been so happy or relieved to be home. Then we were blessed with having Tuesday and Wednesday off of work so we got an extra long Thanksgiving Break.

On the day of Thanksgiving, we put up our tree. We had to get an artificial tree two years ago because it turns out that my adorable dog, Cooper, is allergic. I have finally come to grips with having a fake one and I can say that I have embraced the idea and understand how great it is to have one. The pro's definitely out weigh the con's. It doesn't need water, doesn't shed needles, doesn't leak sap everywhere, we don't have to string lights every year, it doesn't dry out, and it doesn't smell. We were also able to decorate it and get our house ready for our favorite season. I have been watching a lot of Martha, of course, and I have learned that you can really make your tree look fuller and have more depth if you put ornaments inside the tree not just on the tips of the branches.

I also made a pumpkin cheesecake pie for Thanksgiving and we had a delicious meal at my parents house. Thomas and I contributed home grown parsnips and a cranberry chutney. The meal was great with 3 kinds of dressing/stuffing (the only way the Brewer's do it), mashed potatoes, mashed rutabaga's, cranberry sauce, Boris jello salad, pea salad and other food as well. Not to mention at least a gallon of gravy. As always it was a meal to remember. We also got to play "Take Off" the best and very competitive game we try to play at least once a year, and of course my dad one in like 10 min while it took us another 30 to get second place.

After Thanksgiving, Thomas and I drove up to Vancouver, BC for the weekend. We had a great time visiting some of our favorite spots and finding new places to love. We found a great Indian Food restaurant called India Bistro off of Davie street and an Irish pub across the street from our hotel. Then we went back to our favorite Italian place called Trattoria Italian Kitchen off of 4th and Broadway and Dim Sum at Floata in China Town. I got to go to three of my favorite shops Liberty, Peridot and Farmhouse and we did a lot of walking. We saw Harry Potter and they have a Burger King, TCBY and other fast food places in the movie theatre, that is crazy. We went on an exploration and found the University in Vancouver as well as driving out to Burnaby, BC and went to this cute little Village Museum that is all decorated in 1920's decor for Christmas. They have live people dressed up from the 1920's that give you a little speech about each of the shops they are in and how they worked back then. It was really cool and I would be interested in going back during the summer to see what it is like. They also have a petting zoo nearby that we are going to check out next year. We had a fantastic time and always enjoy our time in Vancouver.

May joy and peace surround you, contentment latch your door, and happiness be with you now and bless you evermore - Irish Blessing

Monday, November 15, 2010

Soup Sunday's

Last night we had our second weekly Soup Sunday!! It was a success. I made Sausage Lentil soup. It wasn't completely from scratch, Thomas and I went to this great nursery by our house called Watson's and they had a package of this soup. I love that place. We had to get sausage and beef broth then I doctored it up too adding celery and cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. We got a fresh loaf of sourdough and heated it up in the oven. I must say that Soup Sunday's are great. I just learned that my grandpa held "Soup Sunday's" when my mom was growing up, so that is kind of a fun little unknown tradition that I am keeping up!

Enjoy your week!

May the good saints protect you and bless you today and may trouble ignore you each step of the way - Irish blessing

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week in Review

So, our week has been somewhat eventful. I was able to bring pumpkin soup to work several days for lunch. It was still good the next few days!! I must say that I am a pretty good cook, Thomas agrees.

I went to my very first Zumba class on Monday. It was pretty fun, I would go again but I don't think that I am completely hooked. But it was still fun.

Thomas and I had Thursday off due to Veterans Day. While we did recognize them we also went up to Seattle to go to the Seattle Science Center to the Harry Potter exhibit. It was not what I had expected but it was still really fun. I know that the costumes were on fake manikins but I could not get over how small everything was. Hermione made me feel like a giant when I saw how small her clothes were. It was really cool to see so many of the things they used in the movies. I thought that the shop at the end was pretty cool how you could get a real wand, well not a real wand but the ones that they used in the movies. It was however, a little unnerving that you could by Voldemort's wand.

Saturday, Thomas and I did some much needed things around the house and finally got the awful, ugly brass screen off our fireplace. We had our first fire of the season last night, we used a duraflame log. Now we are trying to build a fire with wood we got from my parents and some stubborn newspaper, its taken about 25 minutes but I think that it has finally caught on, its crackling and really fun! I love this time of year. Just a week and a half until Thanksgiving!! I am so excited!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

[recipe] Soup Sunday's

During the summer, I thought it would be fun to start a new tradition in our household (of TWO) and that was to make a soup on Sunday. I haven't really gotten the tradition off the floor so to speak as I have only done it about 4 times.

Never the less, since this is the First Sunday of the Month, I have no excuses so today I made soup for dinner. And that soup is Pumpkin Soup, I have to say it was pretty good and I gather I would be interested in making it again. I did make some changes to the recipe. I did not add any maple syrup and I added cayenne pepper to make it a little spicy. It did take A LOT of salt to bring it to the right seasoning.

If you are interested here is the recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens.


  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 15-oz. cans pumpkin
  • 1 32-oz. box reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Recipe Spiced Croutons, recipe below
  • Celery leaves (optional)


1. In large saucepan cook carrots in hot butter over medium heat for 2 minutes; add onion, celery, and garlic. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
2. Stir in pumpkin, broth, half-and-half, water, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper.
3. To serve, top soup with Spiced Croutons and celery leaves. Makes 8 side-dish servings.
Spiced Croutons:In bowl toss 3 cups 1-inch bread cubes with 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice. In large skillet cook bread cubes in 2 tablespoons hot butter 8 minutes or until toasted, turning occasionally.

Nutrition Facts

  • Servings Per Recipe 8 side-dish servings
  • Calories200,
  • Total Fat (g)9,
  • Saturated Fat (g)5,
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g)2,
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g)1,
  • Cholesterol (mg)21,
  • Sodium (mg)590,
  • Carbohydrate (g)28,
  • Total Sugar (g)11,
  • Fiber (g)4,
  • Protein (g)5,
  • Vitamin C (DV%)12,
  • Calcium (DV%)9,
  • Iron (DV%)14,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Not only did I make soup today but Thomas and I went shopping at Ikea (love that place) and got a new coffee table. It is a large rectangle that is a dark wood color and it is perfect.

I also had a problem sleeping last night, I woke up at 2:00am or was it 3:00am - who knows with the time change - and could not fall back asleep. I tried laying with my eyes closed counting backwards from 100 which usually works, nope, then I tried reading, got through two chapters and only 2 left, nope so UP I was for the day and still going strong. I did have a 10 minute period during church this morning where it felt good to close my eyes but I am pretty sure I was awake the whole time. Hopefully I will get to sleep tonight, since I have to go back to work.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Ok so I am now officially on the countdown to the holidays with Halloween just over. While I am super excited for Thanksgiving, the whole Christmas season is way more exciting.

Halloween was a laid back holiday this year. Thomas and I got more headstones to go in our front yard to make a graveyard. We carved pumpkins and got lots of candy for all the little trick or treaters we were hoping to get. I turned on lights in the house lit the pumpkins and waited in costume to greet them and hand out candy. But No such luck, we were stiffed. We did not get one trick or treater what a bust, on the positive side we have lots of candy that we can get on a sugar high from.

I need to begin decorating for Thanksgiving in my house and outside as well. We still have a lot of Halloween stuff up. I just haven't made time to do it yet. Our pumpkins are rotting on the doorstep and I don't think that I can in my right mind give them to the chickens - so into the yard waste they will go. Hopefully today. As far as decorating for Thanksgiving, I am not too sure what to do. All I can think of are turkeys, gourds, and leaves. Maybe I will make a garland of leaves to hang on the mantel.

I do have a little bit of a creative side in me. I have fallen in love with block letters, though they are hard to find. So, I found these great wooden blocks at Michaels (except they only carry like 3 at a time and don't replace them for 5 months) that I always buy every time I see them there. I am determined to get enough to have a word or saying for each holiday. So far all I have is for Valentine's Day "LOVE". Each block is painted a different color that goes with the holiday and then I stencil on the letters. I have acquired enough blocks for Thanksgiving to say "GIVE THANKS" and I believe that I have enough colors to make it. I was however lucky to find blocks for Easter "EASTER" and for Halloween "WICKED". The blocks are displayed on the mantel of my fireplace.

I have been receiving daily emails from Better Homes and Gardens for ideas in decorating your house for Christmas. I am so inspired and I cannot wait to begin. I am going to make wreaths to hang in the windows, a garland to go around the garage door, and "candles" to go on the windowsills. More ideas to come and pictures might be posted if I can remember how to post them.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Latest

I am not sure how much has really changed since my last post. Lets see, since I was hired on after the start of the school year I was on a "Leave Replacement" Contract that meant that my job was up at the end of the school year. That was a bummer but I had already known that going into the job. Still it was a rough time applying for new jobs and being on the hunt again. Luckily just before July, I got an interview and a 0.7FTE Elementary PE position, on a continuing contract in the Bethel School District! What a relief especially with hopes of getting even more time! And more time I did get. We had a lot more students register than planned so that allowed more time for me so I am now a 0.9FTE and I get to work every day. This has helped out so much more and I am so excited to have a job for next year (hopefully - as long as there are no more RIFs) Thomas is still teaching at the same school and has really found his niche with the kids. He gets along well with his staff members and new principal. We are both still coaching. I have a team of 15 girls and 2 boys and they are fantastic this year, it is so nice having the boys on the team they tend to level it out a bit. Thomas is still coaching boys and girls tennis.

Our summer was full of outdoor improving. We spent long hours weeding and planting flowers in the flower bed by the road as well as tending to our vegetable garden. I knew that the flower bed I had created was a big project but I didn't realize how much until I started planting in it. It takes up a lot more flowers than I thought so even though it is one long strip, it is split in half and looks different. I was also able to get my birthday present this summer which was two Birch Trees that we planted in the front. They really have completed the look of the garden which is really nice. Our vegetable garden was somewhat successful, given the strange summer we had. Our cucumbers did very well - I have even taken a liking to them. Our snap peas and green beans did awesome as did our lettuce. We had more luck with the onions this year, but still not successful. And as far as our corn is concerned...we only got two good ears off of 8 plants, so that was definitely a bust. Carrots and Parsnips are doing well as are the strawberries and herbs. The tomatoes didn't do too well, but I am sure that is true for just about everyone. All in all it is very rewarding growing your own produce.

Unfortunately one of our chickens "Buffy" turned out to be a rooster "Rude-y" so we were able to take him back and get a hen in his place, but we ended up getting two instead! They have acclimated well into the coop with the other hens and all seem to get along. I was nervous that there would be some pecking issues but as it turns out the new comers are the rulers of the roost. It is so much fun having the chickens, we let them out to roam the yard, feed them table scraps and give them organic feed. We get on average 6 eggs a day, so we have a bounty of eggs and have began selling Parsons Farm Fresh Organic Eggs to co-workers for $3 a dozen. So at least the eggs are not going to waste.

While we didn't go anywhere for our 2 year anniversary this year, Thomas planned the most amazing day for me as a "tourist" in Seattle. We went to the water front for lunch at Ivars, then to Pike Place Market and he bought me flowers. It such a romantic and thoughtful day. I enjoyed it so much. For dinner he took me to Lombardi's in Ballard (this was the restaurant we had our rehearsal dinner at) and we had the most amazing meal. It was a day I will never forget and I still get overwhelmed with love for my husband when I remember how thoughtful and kind he is.

We have felt extremely blessed these past few months and are looking forward to what the future brings.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Parsons Update

Well things have changed a lot since my last post. I guess I am not as into this as I thought I might be. But, I will continue on. I am still coaching high school cheer and going into my third season! I finally got a job at the end of October for a part time elementary PE position. It has been so nice to finally teach something that I love! Thomas is still at WAHS and coaching boys and girls tennis.

We had a great time in Montana and we would go again for sure! Our anniversary trip to Vancouver, BC was amazing. We had so much fun sightseeing and being in the city. We took a trip this year to New York and Washington, DC. This was fabulous and the weather was amazing. It was so fun to go shopping in NY, go on a carriage ride through Central Park and to remember those we lost at the WTC. DC was so cool, we found the best coffee place ever: Cariboo Coffee - the best ginger bread EVER! Seeing all of the memorials and going into the Smithsonians was wonderful. We took a tour of the capital and it was so interesting to learn about everything that happens there. My favorite part was going into Virginia and seeing George Washington's home and farmland. It was so cool and educational to learn how they lived back then!

As far as our home life, as many homeowners we are constantly improving our home. This year, our front yard has been the focus. We pulled out all of the tumors (juniper bushes) and shoveled up the rest of the gravel. I built a retaining wall along the street and we tried to level out our yard as much as possible. We got a load of dirt delivered and proceeded to lay grass seed all over and we now have a real front lawn! We moved our edible garden to the side of the house and it is huge! We will be looking forward to a wonderful bounty this year from our harvests.

We have some new additions to our family: we have 7 chickens and 2 pygmy goats. We will be looking forward to having fresh eggs daily at our "farm". Cooper and Sakari are doing well and love their home. We go to the park often and they love to run and chase each other. Rags and Jazz are enjoying their home and I still cannot get over looking out my kitchen window and seeing my horses!!