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A recipe worth sharing =)

IMG_1753I’ve rediscovered the bread machine, and it’s wonderous ability to help me create delicious breads with less work and time.  I found this recipe in my “bread machine magic” book, which has served me pretty well with my bread machine over the years.

Starts out with the basic directions to make your basic sweet dough (and I chose the buttermilk version myself…), which contains: 3 T dry buttermilk, 7/8 c water, 1 egg, 4 c flour, 1 salt, 4 T butter, 1/4 c sugar, 1/4 t baking soda and 1 1/2 t yeast.

IMG_1718And, this is the loveliness of the bread machine – all the work I did was dump the ingredients into the bread pan, select the “dough” option, and hit start.  That’s it. It takes care of all the mixing, sitting, rising, and kneading for me.  Beautiful.

About an hour and a half later, it beeped at me, so I get off my laptop and put a little flour on the counter and dump the dough out onto that.  They say to get yourself a 10″ ring, and brush some melted butter on it. (I used two small bread pans so I could save one for the fam, and take the other to a friend’s get together).

To form the loaf, you gotta melt yourself 1/4 c of butter in a small bowl, and add 1/2 c sugar and the grated rind of 2 small oranges, or 1 large naval orange. Mix that together as your glaze.  grab another bowl and dump some coconut in that, and create an assembly line of sorts – dough – glaze – coconut – bread pan.

IMG_1721Pinch off acorn size pieces of dough, roll it into a ball, cover it in glaze, dip it in the coconut, and place into the pan(s).  IMG_1723 Warm your oven by turning it on for 2 minutes, then turn it off.  Place your pan(s) into the warm oven to let the dough rise for 1/2 hr – 45 min till they’ve about doubled in size.

IMG_1733Take the pans out, preheat your oven to 350, bake for 30 min until golden. Remove from the heat, turn out onto a plate and serve warm. =)  The aroma of the orange with the crunch of coconut is so nice light and satisfying.



Coming home from vacation brought us back to our little, crazy-disorganized-still-in-boxes apartment.  We had work to do.  And I actually had to start my job that morning.  So my husband was my hero and did a lot of unpacking, constructing furniture, putting clothes away, rearranging the apartment and such for me while I went in to train for my new job at the church!!

The Lord always provides, exactly what we need, when we need it.  This truth has hit me once again with how much we’ve been blessed with my job, enabling us to be here – and about 2 months ago, when we were planning the move, we had no idea where our money would come from and if I’d be able to find a job that covered our expenses while we were here.   And now I’m back, doing one of my jobs that I did at the church about 2 – 3 years ago – the production teams administrator. =) So fun.  I love these people so much, it’s such a blessing to get to work with them once again back at my old church.

During the times I didn’t have to be at work, we got to work on making our basement quarters a home =) which was so fun because of the freedom my mom gave us with painting our areas, here are a couple before and afters =)





IMG_1574IMG_1578And then, the happy After:

IMG_1582IMG_1650IMG_1669This is our cozy little space that we got put all together and done – after painting 1 and 1/2 rooms, and the floor of the non-tiled areas.  =) The week after we got this done was time for PC Orientation, and a couple days later, PC started in full swing.

I still can’t believe we’re here and in the PC.  Already, a few weeks in, Ricky’s sitting under some amazing teachers, I’m getting acclamated to my job, we’re getting to be good friends with the couples in our fellowship group and care group…. and so much more. =)

OK, I’m going to try to keep up with this blog with what the goings on are here in the PC for the two of us. =)

Peace out.

Vacation! =) It was a grand time, where it really seemed like time came to a stop – we enjoyed just being with each other and the family.  Enjoyed the sun (we were blessed with incredible weather), and food, and ice cream, and resting up.

I enjoyed using my camera bunches just for the fun of it, you can see the load of pics I took on my flickr site:


We also got to stop at Edward Gorey’s house on our way home (I just found out that he used to live on Cape Cod before he died! After all these years of vacationing up here…)  Definitely a highlight =)


Who’s Edward Gorey?  An illustrator…he had a dark, sarcastic but light-hearted humor about his illustrations.  I love them.  Ever seen Masterpiece Mystery?  He’s the illustrator of that intro scene you see before the show…

IMG_1541Good times.

We traveled almost 2000 miles in 3 days.   Arriving in MD on Monday, August 10th.  It’s so wonderful to accomplish such a long journey!  But.  We only had Tuesday in MD, because we planned to leave on Wednesday to drive up to Cape Cod, Mass for vacation.  So how should we spend that precious day? (especially since we knew that the day after we got back from vacation, I would start my new job, and it would only be a few days away from Ricky starting orientation at the Pastor’s College!)

Well, what else? Get up early and go to IKEA of course.


Where we had to get the 99 cent breakfast before breaking our budget on stuff. =) Amazing how delish it was, but i’m not sure if it was really that…or just the sweet price tag of 99 cents…

We had a great time, and I became freshly grateful for this mega store allowing us to furnish our little basement apparment for less than it would have cost us to ship our furniture. =)  It was so great to also get great inspiration on how to use small spaces.  It convinces both of us that we can handle and even love small homes for quite a while!!


We found him his table/desk that he wanted to use for the year (sans the pink chair and the sewing machine….)


We also found inspiration for a home for later on (not purchased yet, but stored away to remember next time we are putting together another home.) =)

IMG_1193I loved this little corner kitchen, and especially the color scheme… seemed very happy to me.  So I decided to take that idea back home with us too… painting in the plans for sure now! =)


But after vacation…  For now, we were justing picking up his desk, bookshelves, a couple area rugs to cover our cool basement floors and such. =)  And of course, we had to grab some Ikea meatballs, white sauce and ligonberry jam….mmmmmmm.

We got home, unloaded our stuff.  Re-packed our bags with vacationing shtuffs, and hit the sack preparing for yet another road trip that would, mercifully, be a shorter ride.  =) To Grammas house. =)

So, let’s go back.  I told you we went on vacation…but I didn’t tell you anything about our amazing cross-country drive!

July 15, we moved out of our lovely little apartment (sniff sniff, I miss our cozy little first home), and moved in with our gracious Mom and Dad Alcantar until it was time to move to MD.

IMG_1075After our three week time with the fam, during which we shipped out about a million boxes of books out to MD, we then packed up our vibe and the soft-car-top-carrier with our other odds and ends.  And headed out across Texas in the general direction of MD.IMG_1713IMG_1714

Yes, that says 1,987 miles…. 30 hours of driving. =) We had good times together for those three days.  We headed out early on Saturday morning the 8th, stopped in Dallas that evening with old friends the Kims.



The 9th once again headed out early and made it to Nashville, surviving our longest day of driving.  Since we’d left early, we got to Nashville in time to meet up with friends, Dietra and Daniel Mixer who live there with their little guy son, and get some amazing Nashville chicken.  Love them, can’t wait to travel cross-country again so we can hang out with them again.  Once again, we left a little early from our hotel room, and made good time to Gaithersburg, MD where Mom and Marzio met us!

Some of our highlights from the trip: coffee every morning, listening to David Suchet read an Agatha Christie novel, listening to Roald Dahl read his short stories Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the Fantastic Mr. Fox, among other NPR podcasts and Messages that Paul Tripp gave on marriage “What Did you Expect” (Which I totally recommend. They’re Excellent!).  We never got lost once, thanks to Lois, our Gamin Nuvi.  Thank you Lois.


Yes. A Tank.



click here. read about it. support it.

It’s worth it.

here’s another idea:  This month – all that “spare change” that you use on Starbucks, 7-eleven or wherever you like to get your drink of choice – save it, drink some free water instead.  And at the end of the month, give that drink-money to Uganda.  Some people call it a water-fast.

Only $23 dollars gives a person clean water for their Entire Life.

Crazy huh?  yeah. I know.

Here Ricky and I are, after a busy morning of test taking for him…there was great rejoicing when he completed his first of a year full of weekly tests. =) So we decided to get out of the house on this grey Labor Day, and get some work done at the Mt. Airy Starbucks.  Ricky is busy with his Old Testament studies, while I putter around on the internet…upload pics…. work on actually getting updates lined up for this blog =) and actually get some reading done.  Such a lovely time.


Its nice to get a little secluded from the world, especially when you have a lot going on in your head and heart to pray, talk to God, get some journaling done to help get the jumble of thoughts straightened out a bit.  Whew, this past week, the first full week of PCing was so good.  Ricky’s enjoying his studies, and I’m starting to experience some great fellowship with great new friends…which was especially good this past Saturday morning when we got to have a ladies breakfast time with Betsy Ricucci.  Man, there’s something bonding about sharing favorite desserts.  And then, as we prayed together, the Spirit’s convicting presence was there…and I think that bonded us even more – it was so encouraging to experience the Truth of God’s Word break into my life, and then get to share that and get help from the wise PC wives.  And this is just the beginning.  We get to dive further into fellowship and friendship for the next 10 months.  God is so kind.

Favorite Scripture from the week: Ephesians 4:29 (Thursday night’s exhortation to always be growing in the awareness of God’s work in each other’s life = evidences of grace — excellent reminder, excellent and much needed).

Favorite quote from the week: “This year is about Discovery, not just getting through it.”  Faith, Humility and Anticipation — these are the things I’m seeking to have for this year so that I may learn and grow from this year, not merely feel like I “survived” it.  God has so much in store for all of us, us wives aren’t here in Gaithersburg, MD just because our husbands are at the PC.. it’s because the Lord’s specifically brought us all here for a specific reason, specifically at this time!  =) Wow.

So, here I sit with my coffee.  Mulling it all over.  Listening to old crooners coming out of the speakers above my head. =)  So, I’ll work on keeping these updates going.  And also get you some stories/pics of what we’ve been up to this past month. It’s been good times.  Have a happy labor day.



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