Since our church service ends around 9:45 each Sunday morning the family is regularly placed in a dilemma about what we should eat. Should we go home? Should we try and find an open restaurant? It’s always a battle to decide where we are going to eat. Well, finally we’ve put an end to the back-and-forth and decided from now on we’ll go home to make a late breakfast. I can’t believe that the plan has actually worked so far! Both Sunday’s since we started, I’ve made a Breakfast Frittata. I had heard the name tossed around but I never really knew what the dish was (or looked like) before I started watching Master Chef! After seeing all the delicious frittata’s being made on the show I decided I’d try my hand at making this delectable breakfast food. The recipe basically consists of Sauteing your vegetables (spinach, onions, ham, bacon, potatoes, etc.), adding your egg mixture, cooking it on the stove for a while, then putting it in the oven for about 15 minutes. It’s super easy, and quite delicious if I do say so myself! I’ll definitely be keeping you guys updated on my other breakfast experiments each week! Any good breakfast recipes?
I have finally found time to finish up my post about Tokyo! The highlight of my trip was the Japanese garden we visited. We couldn’t go all the way to Japan without properly seeing a Japanese garden! The day was cloudy and cool, but I still really enjoyed the whole experience. I often miss nature when in Tianjin; so coming to this garden reminded me again of the beauty of our God’s creation.
Walking next to the light rail on the way to the robotics competition – its rainy!
Snapped this while we were waiting at the bus stop. Turned out to look more like a modeling crew then a robotics shot – I’m so blessed to have these guys as my teammates!
I’m missing you already, now that I am back in Tianjin; but I am thankful for the time we had in Austin visiting the University of Texas. Austin Texas is such a interesting city and it was fun experiencing it with you! I hope you enjoy these pictures as much I did!
I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me this special trip with you!
Today it hit me that next year I will be sleeping next to an empty bed – that when I wake up you won’t be in the kitchen making me a tea latte – that our tea parties will be short one very important person. I cannot imagine life here in China without you! I must admit that I did not fully prepare myself to say goodbye to you in China. Now that the reality is settling in, I don’t want to look at your baking drawer, or your bed, or your closet because they just remind me that next year you will not be here.
Rachel you have blessed me in so many ways. The Lord knew how much I would need an older sister – and He gave me the very best one! I know that you will be just as much a blessing in Carnegie Mellon; I envy all the new friends you make – that they will get an encouraging, pretty, cake-making, faith-filled friend like you!
Let’s face it, would you rather read a Tumblr photo blog or a Biology text book? It’s pretty much a no brainer… If you’re ever looking for some way to relax (or procrastinate) this is the way to do it! Although I sometimes spend hours (oops did I just admit that) on these photo journals, I always close my computer lid with a smile. The endless pictures, quotes, and gifs are a “spoonful of sugar” for gray day. Next time you need some inspiration just refer to Tumblr, the never ending slideshow of heartening photos.
As of late, we have all been caught up in the whirl-wind activity of a new school year! Personally, I feel like I have jumped on a boat that I am trying in vain to steer through churning waters, (Anyone else?). So what’s been so crazy about the beginning of this school year? – the real question is what hasn’t been crazy about the beginning of this school year?
For starters, my dad, Maddie, and I had our annual Fall Camp, a high school retreat, last week! Maddie is discovering the “joys”of a high school homework load, and I am discovering the “joys” of three AP classes.
Over in Hong Kong, Michael just returned from a church retreat which was very encouraging for him as he begins his sophomore year at Hong Kong University!
Rachel has been busy as a bee at home. She’s our “sweet little fairy,” baking delicious desserts, working in the blog room on her goals, and supporting us in school. Rachel too has been unusually busy this week; it seems that the news of her baking skills are getting around. This week she has baked 2 layer cakes, pavlovas (tonight to satisfy me and Maddie’s meringue craving :), and biscotti. Sadly, the only above dessert we get to try is the white fluffy cookies in the oven now. The birthday cakes were made for a friend and a client!
On top of ALL of that, add the usual homework load, dentist appointments, student council work, and time spent with friends then you’ve about nailed down our lives as of late!
Me and my Fall Camp team during the stew competition! ~Smokey~
Maddie posing with her team after the Fall Camp Skits!
The 3-layer Lego cake that Rachel baked for a boy in our community turning ten. It is a vanilla cake with multi-colored layers (red, blue and green), meringue buttercream filling, and marshmallow icing on top!
Michael’s Church retreat – seems like he had fun!
I was browsing over the blog this week and came across my previous Dream House post and decided to create another…
My family moved earlier this year during spring break and although moving over a vacation is never appealing, at least it inspired me to write this post! I found it very difficult to have a relaxing break when boxes lay strewn across the ground, cleaning had to be done, and tasks of organization awaited us around every corner. However the memories Jessie and I made during this time are priceless. Although even now 5 months later we are still hanging pictures and finding places for “stuff” to go, I believe we had a successful move this year and I am quite proud of our efforts. I used the same resources as last time (fresh home) but this time I decided to pick a theme for the “dream house”. Doesn’t “scenic rural dream” sound enticing?! Check out these two houses that I combined keeping this theme in mind.
I love how the floors of both houses are so gorgeous, they match the rural theme so well.
look at those gorgeous windows!
The furniture in the picture above really pulls together the thought of a countryside house.
Now that I am an upperclassman I have been giving more thought to what I really love to do. Last year, when Michael began Architecture at HongKong University, he often reminded me that I should choose a career/school that I will love and be passionate about. So I began to explore new hobbies.
One hobby I picked up about a year ago was sketching in a little brown-paper pocketbook. By practicing, I not only realized how much I love putting pen to paper, but how much I enjoy the thought process behind creating different types of art!
I have always loved music, both singing and playing. Before last Christmas, the only instrument I had ever played was the Clarinet. However, when a friend came to China for a visit, I was inspired by her (who was an amazing Ukelele player), to get one of my own! It is the most challenging yet rewarding hobby for me.
My beloved Ukulele ~ I love you!
A sample of my most recent art endeavor. Michael had an idea of a “star ship” while we were listening to – you guessed it – “Star Ships” by Niki Minaj. This is actually a X-Wing Fighter from Star Wars bejeweled in gel pens! Stay tuned for the finished product ~
Since Michael spoke to me last year I have realized so much truth in his words! Do what you are passionate about – this will bring you joy. Some days when I feel really uninspired I just play a few songs on my ukelele and it really brightens my mood! Don’t brush off the things you are interested in as unimportant – dig deeper into those passions and develop them.
One of my goals for this summer – I say “one of” because there were many – was to begin sketching ideas for the art class I am planning to take next semester. For some reason I keep sketching aquatic animals; I guess I just like the movement of these deep sea creatures.
Here are a few tips for those who are sketching with pen. (Pen is one of my favorite mediums because of its clean crisp look.)
1. When shading with pen you obviously can’t just smear it around like graphite. Instead use lines to shade; the closer the lines the darker the shading and vise verse.
2. Don’t be afraid to try out colored pens. This was my first attempt at a colored pen sketch and the color really brings this picture to life. Though it may not be apparent at first glance I also added some peach undertones.
3. Another shading technique in pen drawing is dotting. Speckling your sketch to achieve more depth may take a bit longer, but it definitely pays off in the end!
Since arriving in Texas I begged my grandmother, MeMaw, to go blueberry picking – something I haven’t done in four years! On our way back from a long shopping trip we spotted a blueberry picking sign on the side of the road and knew… it was time to pick some berries! Upon arriving at the blueberry farm we plucked and munched to our heart’s desire. Rain clouds finally rolled in, forcing us to finish up. We paid for our 20 pounds (about 30 cups) of blueberries and returned home. The following day I succeeded in talking MeMaw into making a blueberry pie with me; this was the first blueberry pie I ever tasted let alone made! And let me tell you, it turned out delicious!
The secret ingredient to a crunchy crust : almonds!
Tartness of blueberries matched with sweet sugar yields the most delicious pies! Tip: when baking pies or crisps, the more tart the fruit, the better the pie… you don’t want those four cups of sugar to overpower the flavor of the fruit.
Summer is a great time for pies, and if you cannot find blueberries: look for peach, strawberry, or even rhubarb; any of these will make a delicious pie!
Another trick: add a layer of granulated sugar directly under the crust, making a delicious blueberry syrup once baked.
Couple your pie with a glass of Southern Sweet Tea or some cool whipped cream.