Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Eve Dinner

alternate title:
Adventures in Butchery

I wanted to make an elegant Christmas Eve dinner this year- so Matt and I put together a menu I was really excited about:
Pan-Roasted Pear Salad with Balsamic Glaze
Stuffed Roast Tenderloin (stuffed with caramelized onion, mushrooms, and Marsala wine)
Braised Brussels Sprouts with Sage Butter
Mushroom Risotto
Yorkshire Puddings
Egg Nog Creme Brule for dessert.
Well - we had a tough time finding the beef tenderloin. We didn't want to drive all around town because of the nasty weather, so after THREE grocery stores, we went home. VERY disappointed. I called around the next day and discovered that they have them at Costco (wahoo!) so Matt went after work and picked up the smallest one they had (6.6 lbs!) That meant I had a lot of butchering to do. Yep- that's a chef knife in the picture! and my BIGGEST cutting board. Covered in Parchment paper because it's not big enough- haha.
I went on You-Tube and learned how to trim, clean, and butcher my own Beef Tenderloin. This is, by far, the most money I have EVER spent on dinner, and I was a wee bit nervous about getting it just right! So praise God for You Tube, after about 4 videos I felt confidant enough to start slicing into the most valuable part of a dead cow.

beautiful! I got my nice center cut roast for dinner, plus a small, 2 person roast for another night, 6 petite fillet Mignon's, and some stir fry scraps. Oh boy, am I glad for a nice big freezer :o) What treats we have in store for us! This frugal wife almost always buys top sirloin.

Well, I stuffed and tied my roast... a little tricky but easier than I thought! Pan browned and then into the oven for a mere 20 minutes.

Oops, forgot to take a picture until she was carved and half gone!

And here's the plate- my food pictures never look too good.... but I'm more than happy with how it all tasted!
Matt's pretty presentation of the salad

Table for four?

Don't forget dessert! We love to bring out the torch at the table, of course

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thumb Sucker

Oooooh yeah-

That's the good stuff.

Hey Santa!

Despite the blizzard, Nana just had to take Rowen to meet Santa. (How else would he tell him what he wanted for Christmas???) So- we met Nana and Poppop at the mall, and of course Nana brought Rowen a Christmas outfit for the occasion. Since the line was so long, we just decided to dress him right there on the mall bench. How embarrassing for him! hehe.

Funny, Santa didn't ask him if he'd been a good little boy, or what he wanted for Christmas. I guess he already knew!

look out, ladies

We had a really nice "Christmas" dinner with some friends at the Buckendorfs about a week ago. Rowen of course had fun flirting with Miss Riley. Boy, are we going to be in trouble when all these babies get older! There may be no shortage of girlfriends ;)


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Arctic Blast 2008 with the Happels

My hubby put together this little viddy for your enjoyment-

Rowen was neither pleased nor dismayed at the frigid temperatures- even when I put him down face up on the hood of the car (it was snowing!) to make his first snow angel. Funny guy...
Don't worry, we didn't stay out too long.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

ACCF Sunday Services

Due to the school district closure, we will be meeting this Sunday, December 21st, at the
Abernethy Center in Oregon City. We will have two services at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM.
Bring the whole family into the service (We are unable to provide childcare).
Our Sunday evening service is cancelled.
Please drive carefully, and have fun in the snow!

Check the website for more detailed info!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bustamante Bliss!

Oh. My. Goodness.
A whopping 5 pounds, here is little miss Fiona! Can you believe her hair? Oh man. She is such a cutie pie. Kathleen and Bryan had their teeny sweetie Wednesday morning in the wee hours - about 5 weeks early - but Mama and baby are doing great! Bryan has already warned Rowen that he'd better have Fiona in by 10pm.
Look how giant he looks next to her! I guess he is 35 times her age. (72 days old - 2 days old - har har har)

The happy new family!

We love you guys! Can't wait for play dates!

Oh yeah- and they have joined the blogging world:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rowen's Dedication, part 2

attempting to upload a video.... I think it might be huge. Matt taught me how last night - I think I'm supposed to "compress" it for the web, but I can't remember where that step was... haha. Oh well!

It was 4 weeks ago, but here's Rowen's dedication at church in case you missed it!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Church is Canceled!

In case you haven't heard and you check my blog often enough: no bible study tomorrow night. They have to go by the school closures- everyone stay safe and warm out there!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cutting Down a Tree!

I love Christmastime! Exhausted as we were, we decided to go chop down a tree with my fam on Sunday. Crazy, huh? It was pouring down rain while we ate lunch, but thank heavens it stopped just as we got to the tree farm! The ground was still all mushy, but it was so nice to be "warm and dry." (We had been in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska all weekend, afterall!)

Rowen thoroughly enjoyed himself, as usual!

Searching for the perfect tree...

"Hey mom, Nanna and I found one!"

Hmm.... this one is more like it!

Flyin' Rowen!

Rowen did so great on the airplane! (Or should I say, airplanes?) We flew from Portland to Minneapolis, then from Minneapolis to Omaha. The next morning we drove to Akron, Iowa (about two hours.) After spending most of the day there, we drove back to Omaha to spend the night, then flew from Omaha to Minneapolis and Minneapolis back to Portland. Whew! It was a lot of traveling in one weekend for an 8 week old! He made hardly a peep (which is more than I can say for the baby sitting behind us...) We have such an angel-baby!
Brrr!! The Midwest is COLD!!! It was around 16 degrees while we were there! A big snow storm came in just after we left. So grateful to miss it! The wind blew right through you. There's no place like home afterall!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Avis Louise Hilton Dec 12th 1917 - Nov 29th 2008

My Grandma Avis (Mom's Mom) went to be with the Lord last Saturday, November 29th 2008. I just wanted to share the few pictures that I have of her as a way of saying goodbye. She was born & raised in South Dakota, and moved to Portland in her 20's where she's been ever since. She's lived with my mom in Tigard for the past five years as she's walked the road between health and sickness. Now she can finally rest in peace.
I can't get this picture right side up of course- but here she is at Matt and my wedding, July 31st 2004. Her favorite color was black. When she saw my wedding pictures she said, "Well. Don't I look old."

Family was everything to Grandma. She loved it when family could get together and she'd be so irritated if EVERYONE couldn't be there. Sometimes when a big group would get together she'd say, "Now look at all this. None of this would be here if it weren't for me." :o) She had quite a sense of humor!
She left behind two daughters and one son, two granddaughters and six grandsons, two great granddaughters and two great grandsons. She could hardly wait to meet Rowen all summer. There were a couple hospital visits that we didn't think she would make it out of if it weren't for how excited she was for his birth. She told all her nurses she was going to have a great-grandson, and that would make her be that great grandma of "TWO GREAT GRAND DAUGHTERS AND TWO GREAT GRAND SONS!" Every time I'd visit she'd ask me when he was coming and I'd tell her not until the end of September and she'd say "Gaal! That long??"
When he was finally born I'd never seen her so happy in my life. She beamed.
Every time she'd see him in the last two months she'd say "Isn't he just perfect?" She loved that he had sideburns, and said she wanted to hear him cry. She couldn't believe he wouldn't cry.

The last time we saw her was Thanksgiving morning. She was feeling up to holding him, and I'm so glad that she got to one last time. These are the last pictures ever taken of her.

We buried her back "home" on Saturday, next to Grandpa in South Dakota in the family cemetery.

Corn fields and sky as far as the eye can see...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dirty Drip Pans?

This housewife gets excited about the silliest things.....
I was making turkey stock and of course it boiled over a bit in the hours it was on the stove- leading to nasty burnt on crud in the drip pans. So I thought it would be an opportunity to share with you all this super nifty trick we learned not too long ago.
Nasty pans + baking soda + a little water + elbow grease (and not much!) =
Sparklingly beautiful pans!
That's right, just your plain ol' arm 'n' hammer.
I love when natural things clean better than chemical ones. Awesome.

Beaver Fans, Through and Through!

I know last Saturday was horribly embarrassing- but these pictures of our mini-beav are too cute not to post.
Better luck next year, Beavs!

Meeting Grandpa Carroll

My Dad's in town from Denmark - so he and Rowen got to meet for the first time last week! Oh, so much the grand-parental love.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It was Rowen's first Thanksgiving- and of course he was the star of the show! He got to meet his Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Happel for the first time as they drove up from California to spend Thanksgiving here.
Four generations of Happel Men! I'm pretty sure he's yawning here- not screaming.
Great Grandpa is so proud!

Rowen's first Thanksgiving meal: breastmilk as usual. Don't worry hon, it'll be more exciting next year!