Sunday, December 30, 2007

Obligatory Christmas Letter and Happy New Year!

As we finish up 2007 and look into the new year, we wanted to share how the year has gone for each of us and how God has changed us these last 12 months. So often Christmas letters are all about what we have done, but really it's more important to look at what God has allowed us to do, and how He has changed us over the year. (Okay, I "stole" this concept from Pastor JD here).

Amelia- I started out 2007 as a bean-sized version in Mommy's belly and she selflessly gave me nourishment until I decided to be born in August. So far I really like it on the outside, although some days (like when Caley jumps on me) I wonder why I wanted to leave my home before this one. But the locals are pretty nice, Daddy is really funny and he tickles me, Mommy still gives me nourishment but I have to work harder than before. The little one, Caley, is my best friend. She loves me even though she can be rough. One time she climbed in my crib and it was a nice wake-up call, it made me laugh.

Caley- I'm not sure what I did to deserve to have my world turned upside down when Amelia was born. That was a big shock. I thought Mommy and Daddy meant I would get a new doll when they said Mommy had a baby in her tummy. But it turns out the world is pretty good on the other side. Amelia is really cool and I love to sing to her and play with her. She always laughs at my jokes and so far she doesn't steal my toys. Also this year I learned how to potty in the toilet and now I'm a big girl! When I potty in the toilet I get tattoos and they're really cool.

Addie- God changed me a lot this year, it's all the process of sanctification I guess. Having two kids is a lot harder, yet more rewarding, than just one. God has changed my heart on a few issues and (I hope) made me a better person, although I am reminded daily of how much I still need Jesus (thanks Caley). I've learned that being a wife and a mom are my primary callings right now and it's a relief to not have the burdening question of "what am I going to be?" Hopefully the momentum will continue!


Our hopes for 2008 are that God would continue to change us for the better and give us much for which to be thankful!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas--Jesus is born!

Merry Christmas! Thank you Jesus for coming to the earth in such a miraculous way and for allowing us to live and celebrate your birth! We had a wonderful Christmas and it feels like it's lasted many days because we did the Gerlach side on Sunday, our own little Christmas on Monday, and the Bales side on Tuesday. We also celebrated Uncle Davey and Papa Bales' birthday. Later Christmas day we hosted the Runyan and Noorda family and made cornish hens with cranberry thyme sauce, wild rice pilaf with pecans, and haricots verts (green beans) and red pepper.

Here's a little picture of how we celebrated this season.

Cornish game hen with double-cranberry and thyme sauce

3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound Cornish game hen, halved, backbone removed, rinsed, patted dry
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup white grape juice
1/3 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries


Preheat oven to 450°F. Blend 2 tablespoons butter, sugar, and 2 teaspoons thyme in small bowl. Sprinkle hen halves with salt and pepper. Spread skin of each with half of butter mixture. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add hen halves, skin side down. Sear until deep brown, about 4 minutes. Turn, skin side up, and sear 1 minute. Remove from heat. Transfer hen halves, skin side up, to small rimmed baking sheet. Reserve skillet (mixture will be dark). Roast hen halves until cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with fork, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend remaining 1 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon flour in small bowl. Add broth, grape juice, cranberry concentrate, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme to reserved skillet. Boil until sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, whisking often, about 7 minutes. Whisk in flour mixture and cranberries. Simmer until sauce coats spoon, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer hen halves to plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.

Sauteed haricots verts, red bell peppers, and almonds

1 1/2 pounds haricots verts (or other slender green beans), trimmed

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
3 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup almonds, toasted


Cook haricots verts in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool quickly and drain again.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add peppers; sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add butter to same skillet; melt. Add garlic; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add haricots verts. Sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Mix in nuts; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.

Wild rice and toasted pecan pilaf

1 cup pecan halves, chopped coarse
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large onion, halved lengthwise and sliced thin lengthwise
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups wild rice (about 1 pound), rinsed well in several changes of water and drained
4 1/2 cups chicken broth


Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small baking pan toss the pecans with the butter, the thyme, and the salt until they are coated well and toast them in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes, or until they are crisp and fragrant.

In a flameproof casserole cook the onion and the bell pepper in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until they are just softened, and with a slotted spoon transfer them to a bowl. Add the rice to the casserole and cook it, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the broth, heated to boiling, and salt and pepper to taste and bring the mixture to a boil. Bake the mixture, covered, in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. Stir in the onion mixture, bake the pilaf, covered, for 30 minutes more, or until the rice is tender and the broth has been absorbed, and stir in the pecans.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Amelia's rolling!

Here's a cute clip of Amelia showing off her new rolling skills! We didn't expect her to do this so soon, because Caley didn't roll over until 8 months or something. She was a little motor delayed, not that you'd be able to tell now! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Welcome baby!

It's been a few weeks but I still wanted to post a welcome to our new nephew Mason! He was born November 29 at 4:25 pm. This is Matt and Becky's 3rd child, and Bill's parents 13th grandchild. We think he looks like Teija in this picture. Welcome Mason! You are already loved by so many!

November 29 at 4:25 pm. He weighed 8 lbs 2 oz, 20 inches long.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

In Sickness and in Health

Saturday morning I (Addie) woke up with a stomachache and just felt awful all around. Around 1030 I got up and felt the vomit coming on, and woke up a few minutes later on the floor. Apparently I had passed out and hit my head on the floor! Thankfully Bill was there and helped me recover the rest of the day, all the while taking care of both kids AND cleaning the kitchen! Thank you Jesus for giving me the best husband for me. And he's a hottie too!

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Saturday we got a big surprise when it started to snow! Caley was so excited and wanted to play in it and eat it. Last year she was more afraid of the snow than anything so it was fun that she actually likes it now. She made a snowman with Daddy and had a snowball fight. Amelia wanted to play too but her snowsuit was a little constricting, like Ralphie's little brother Randy in "A Christmas Story." Maybe next year she'll have a snowball fight with Caley and Daddy too.