Saturday, October 29, 2011

Barca and Kristi time

This is officially my first "photo shoot" of people. And I had so much fun! The girls are so photogenic, and gorgeous in my opinion.
Kristi (in the red sweater) is my classmate at BMA, and she is so kind, thoughtful, encouraging and creative.Barca (in the coat) is in the class above me, and she is also super encouraging, joyful, loves people, and her face just sparkles when she smiles. Both of these girls love Jesus, and both radiate Him more and more every day.

And here are the pictures...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


She is a joy.

She is snuggly.

She is mischievous (loves to get in the trash cans!!).

She is playful.

She is comforting, adorable, smart, loving, and curious.

And, we love her so much. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dad-daughter date

My dad came home from a three week trip to the States on Wednesday...and you know what he wanted to do on the weekend? Spend time with me! It was a long time being a way from him, so I was so glad to get some time just the two of us!

He told me to think of something fun to do together, and I remembered this quaint horseback riding place up in the mountains that we'd been to a few years ago. It's a family owned business in the middle of pretty much nowhere...but still close enough to us that we can drive there in about 20 minutes.
This Czech family owns 6-7 mountain horses that they leave outside year-round, un-shoed, and they let all the horses live together. These horses are smaller and more wild in breed than your standard horse, but they are so sweet and calm!

There are some hunting trails up in the mountains that they take you on for as long as you want. So we got to ride through the mountains for an hour with the lady who owns the horses. It was such a sweet time with my dad, and so refreshing to be outside in the cool autumn air. According to the forecast, last Saturday may have been the last nice sunny day of Fall! Sad! But I'm so happy I spent it outside.

Dad and I then went out for a great lunch and chatted and caught up on stuff that had happened while he was gone. It was such a nice day. Thank you Dad for caring so much about me! Love you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The little things

Sometimes it's the little things that bring me the most joy...

Archer Farms fruit strips from Target :)
...Like a sweet package from a friend in the States. She knows there are a few random things we can't get here that I love, so took the time to send me some!

Thank you so much R.R.! You made my day!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dear cows and goats

Dear cows, 
Your moos are comforting. Your black compliments your white. You have adorable noses and beautiful eyes. I like taking pictures of you. You are always so polite and let me stand close to you, and if I'm brave enough, even touch you. 

But, I have one problem (and this is where goats win over you): 

Your milk makes my tummy hurt. I know, I know, you can't help it...but sadly, it's the truth. I'm sorry about this, but will you still be my friends? You see, I still like you. 


Dear goats at the zoo,
Remember when I used to visit you in the petting zoo and feed you out of my hand, and then run away? Those were good times. But since then, I haven't seen you much. It's probably my fault, it's true. But lately, I have come to really enjoy your friends over at our neighbor's house. They are kind enough to share their milk with another (our) family for a low price. They are very nice. And their milk doesn't seem to make my tummy hurt. 

Please tell them thank you if you see them. 

And yes, the goat's milk bottle does have a cow on it...ironic. But after all, cows are pretty cute, aren't they?
Yep...I think I can have goat's milk now (safely)! And our neighbors have two goats, and sell milk and cheese to friends- pasteurized and everything. It's been a wonderful treat! I never knew that fresh goats milk was so tasty.

I've heard that people who are lactose-intolerant can sometimes tolerate cultured yogurts, and goat's milk. Well, I'm still experimenting, but from what it looks like, both of those things are true for me! It makes me so happy to taste the creaminess of milk again...and honestly, I can hardly tell the difference between the tastes of goat's and cow's milk. I guess it's been so long since I've had cow's milk that I wouldn't know what it tastes like exactly! Anyway, the goat's milk makes me happy.

I'm starting to like goats more now.

But cows are still cute.

That's Lysa Hora in the background- the highest mountain in the Beskydy and the one that we look out on from our house every day.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu idea

I just came across this creative menu plan at a family friend's blog. I love it! For those times that I have to cook while Mom is gone, this would help with the planning. I hope it helps inspires me!

Here's the post in her words:
"What I start with is this little alliterative device…

-Mexican Monday
-Tomatoey Tuesday
-Wild-Card Wednesday
-Thrifty Thankful Thursday
-Fancy Friday
-Soup & Sandwich Saturday
-Simple Sunday

This helps with my “writers block” and gives me a direction, but not a straightjacket.

Mexican Monday is anything from tacos, burritos, tostatas, salsa chicken, nachos, etc. Many new recipes fit here, like white chili. (which could also go on soupy saturday!)

Tomatoey Tuesday is anything italian/tomato based. Chili, stew, lasagne, spagetti and meatballs, etc.

WildCard Wednesday is usually newer recipes I’m trying out like quinoa salad; leftovers, or whatever doesn’t have another category

Thrifty Thankful Thursday is anything that is inexpensive and I’m positive everyone will enjoy. :) You can’t always count on that here.

Fancy Friday is just like it sounds. Steak, Salmon, expensive in time, cost, or both. I also use this night for training in table manners/nicer placemats, etc.

Soup & Sandwich Saturday (or sometimes Salad)is so I can spend time doing other things, and is usually something that goes in the crockpot, afancy sandwich (cilantro salad, anyone?), or both.

Simple Sunday is usually burgers in the summer, but often we eat out on Sunday noon; we just find what there is to eat in the evening before or after the church service :) "

Chile corn chowder- a good soup for a Saturday

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin pie bread

Yes, I am on a pumpkin kick. Isn't every baker in love with pumpkin in the fall? It just screams warmth and yummy-ness.

So, here's another recipe for those of you who have gluten-free flours. Actually, besides the brown rice flour (which can be subbed for either rice flour, or an all-purpose gluten-free flour), I can buy everything else here in Czech with all the new gluten-free products here! Thank you Czech for the gluten-free food! It makes my life so much easier.

The only other thing that you can't buy here (well, not that I know of) is the "guar gum", which acts as a binder in the recipe. It just makes the bread less crumbly. If you don't mind crumbs, I think this recipe would work without it.

Thanks to Karina Alrich from the glutenfreegoddess blog for an amazing recipe yet again! I just adjusted a couple of the things to suit my tastes...but it's a great recipe "as is" too! All credit goes to her for this recipe!

First, preheat oven to 350 F (180 C)

2/3cup packed organic light brown sugar
5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water (or two large eggs, beaten)
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin is fine)
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch or potato starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon guar gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or gluten-free Pumpkin Pie Spice blend
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ginger

1. Mix brown sugar, maple syrup, olive oil, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and lemon juice in a large bowl until well combined.
2. In  a separate bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients thoroughly.
3. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients into the wet.
4. Prepare a large loaf pan (or 3 little ones) by greasing the pans- use Pam, or butter, or whatever else you normally use so that a loaf comes out clean, and doesn't stick!
5. Bake a large loaf for: 50-55 min.
    Bake 3 small loaves for: 30-40 min.

This is delicious. Especially with a little bit of butter. Or cream cheese frosting. Or served with tea on a cute little saucer. Just sayin'. We all still love some fancy shmantzy extras sometimes.

So go ahead, relax in your kitchen, living room, or with your best friend, and enjoy some yummy pumpkin pie bread!

Even my puppy, Kaylie, would have really liked some of this bread! Just look at that face...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin smoothie

No taste says "fall" for me more that pumpkin. I absolutely love it. And this smoothie just hit the spot! I mean, who wouldn't want to drink something that tasted and looked like fall??

You have to try this!!
1 cup of milk, or non-dairy milk of your choice (I highly recommend almond milk!!)
1/2 cup of pumpkin (either roasted pumpkin, or canned)
1/2 of a banana
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
6-10 ice cubes (depending on how icy you like your smoothies...I like mine really icy!)
Sweetener of choice, if desired
Put everything in a blender and serve with extra spices on top! A yummy fall treat!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

17th - happy day!

On Saturday, I celebrated my 17th birthday! I am so thankful for every single year that God has given me, and for all the amazing people that He has placed in my life. I pray that this year I will grow closer to Him, will find joy anywhere I go (joy= different than happiness!) and not be afraid to give my whole heart to everything I do.

Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday!!
With my dear friends Ashley and Hayley at the mall. :) These two (and my mom!) made my day even more special.
Sorry it's blurry, but I love this one!
Mom made me pumpkin pie!

Friday, October 7, 2011

And this is my class

You may remember seeing one picture of our class, which was taken in our first year. We've changed quite a bit since then! I love our class.

I asked Caleb if he would be able to take some pictures of our class (for our class bulletin board), because I knew he would do an amazing job. And he did! Here's some of the first ones...raw and unedited yet! Thank you Caleb for the fun pictures!!

(By the way, notice the random pieces of clothing/accessories? Costumes make everyone smile!!)

Love these girls!
Fall leaves are awesome.
 All the girls...and their "flowers". Haha!

Monday, October 3, 2011

So many words, so little time

Travel. Cities. Friendship. Learning. Meeting people. Challenged. Baking. Autumn sun. Birthdays. Community.

Precious memories.
Celebrating Laurel's (a dear friend and JVK) 16th birthday in Slovenia this weekend
So many words to describe my life right now. Life is wonderful, of course, but challenging too. There have been high points and low(er) points. Fun experiences abroad with friends, as well as difficulties that come with a normal school routine. It all has been intertwining this past month. It's hard to even sort out the "goods" and the "bads".
With BMA's Romanian "sister school for the day" at the ACSI Student Leadership Conference in Budapest- love these people so much!
But what I do know, is that God has been so faithful in both the little things and the big things; in both the hard things and the wonderful things; in the highs and lows. He has blessed me with unexpected joys, and also taught me things that were not always easy.

All I can say, is:

God is GOOD.

And I am so grateful to Him for every little detail that He plans for my life, no matter what it is. I'm even thankful for bright red apples, and a doggy who gets excited about licking them, and trying to eat them. She makes me smile.