Thursday, August 21, 2014

Our 5th Grader...

Levi's homework assignment tonight was to write 4 "BIG" words that describe him.  These are what he chose...

1. Vigorousstrong; active; robust:
a vigorous youngster.

2. Articulateusing language easily and fluently; having facility with words:
an articulate speaker.

3.Sympatheticcharacterized by, proceeding from, exhibiting, or feeling sympathy;sympathizing; compassionate:
a sympathetic listener.

4. Amusingcausing laughter or mirth; humorously entertaining:
an amusing joke.

(I took this just a few days ago when we were at the eye dr.  They had given him drops to dilate his pupils and this is the face he made when I asked if I could take his photo...yes, he is definitely amusing!)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A look back and a recipe...

Yep- it's been awhile.  A looong while.  You probably thought I was done blogging.  I thought I was. But then I got a little bit sentimental yesterday looking back at our kiddos' first days of school and thought- oh hey, why not post a picture and a recipe.  It's fun and I have missed it!  So here goes...

Today was the first day back at school.

They are HUGE right?  How did this happen?  We have a Sophomore, an 8th and a 5th grader.

Look how little they used to be ::

First day of 2013,
2008 ,
and 2007.  We are so proud of them!
And now, I will move on to a recipe- so I don't have to think about how Luke will be graduating from high school in 3 very short years...

There is a reason I have been craving granola.  This summer we went to Cyprus, and found the most delicious granola Brad and I had ever had.  We found it at Lidl.  So I went searching for it here in Austria, but with no luck.  They have different kinds of granola here, but not the crunchy kind with big chunks of tropical fruit that we fell in love with in Cyprus.

Long story short- I have decided to try to make my own granola, since some friends of mine said it is easy and yummy.

This was the first recipe I tried, but I could never get it crunchy- though it tastes ok.

This recipe had a video, which always draws me in :)  So I tried it and I liked it better, though I still couldn't get it super crunchy!  Is there a secret I am missing?  Help me out!  Now I am on a mission...

(I used pecans and cranberries, because that is what I had on hand)

P.S.  The longer it cooled, the crunchier it got :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pumpkin Party...

Austrians really don't celebrate Halloween- but every year we at least try to carve some pumpkins and eat some yummy treats with friends!

Levi decided last minute to dress up as Darth Mal
Abby dressed up as Agnes, from Despicable Me and Zoey came as her sweet little self :)

This is Levi's friend Brendan, and it was his first time carving a pumpkin!  He is originally from Australia and they don't really celebrate Halloween there either.  I think Batman and Ironman turned out awesome!

Abby and Lizzy created a unicorn!

Hannah had fun playing with the seeds
We have carved pumpkins with the Kolensky's every year that we have been in Austria!
(in 2010 we were in the States for 6 months)
See that Chewbacca in the middle...that is what Brad and Luke carved!  Pretty impressive :)

We also munched on pumpkin donuts,  ginger snaps, and apples with caramel sauce

Here's a look at years past...

Friday, September 20, 2013

I heart Fall...

We had gone to visit some friends one evening last week, and when we walked outside Luke took a deep breath in and said, "It smells like Fall!"  He was right, the air did have that particular crispness that you get with the changing of the seasons.  And while the leaves have just started to turn slightly, it has not stopped me from baking pumpkin cake, making Roasted Butternut Squash soup and dipping some apples into some homemade caramel!

Next Saturday, our church will have our annual time at Apfel-Hof!  We cannot wait :)

And in other Hunter family news, Milka turned 5 yesterday!  We love her so much!  I was looking at old posts and had forgotten we threw her a little party when she turned 2!  So fun!  Sometimes you just have to celebrate the little your dog's birthday and the smell of Fall!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, finding little things to celebrate!

Monday, September 02, 2013

Meal Planning...

Classic Chicken and Dumplings recipe from Real Simple

Now that school is back in session, I am trying to be more organized!  Do you plan your menus for the week?  I try to, and when I do, I save time, money and energy.

*I just write my menu for the week out on a sheet of paper, but check THIS out!
*You can find all sorts of meal planning ideas HERE
*I found THIS helpful too.
*And have you heard about One  It is an easy way to store your recipes in one place.  (Thanks for the tip Jutta)

Please feel free to share any helpful hints you have with meal planning too!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Back in Wien...

As much fun as we had this summer, it is really good to be back in the city!
To walk down the street and see buildings with character...

Meet our friends at the park...

Worship at NCW...

Watch the sunset from our terrace...

and make cookies in our kitchen... 

Happy Weekend from our home to yours!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A few things I learned while traveling this summer...

We had a fun, busy, family-and-friends-filled summer, where lots of great memories were made! Brad  had dreamed about, and planned for this trip to America for at least a year. We made it to 23 States and drove over 7,000 miles and kept reminding the kiddos that this was a "trip of a lifetime" and that the "journey was the destination"! We were blessed to visit so many people and churches along the way:)

For 2 of the 9.5 weeks that we were in the States, we rented an RV out West and visited several National Parks. Our kids have spent the last 6 years of their lives in Austria, so we wanted them to see parts of America that they had never seen before.  It was out West that I started to put together a list of a few things I was learning and/or that were helpful about traveling and camping...

*Before you rent an RV or go camping for an extended period- ask folks who have experience with camping what supplies you really need and what parks they have enjoyed.  If you know someone with a motorhome, ask them for a tour of it before you rent your own.  We did this, and our friends gave us helpful advice on things like... what the best camping towels are and getting a mat for the front door of your RV.

*Add another kid in the mix if possible.  We had the privilege of having one of our nephews (Mike) join us.  With 3 kids, there is always someone who feels left out- this solved that problem and provided some extra bonding time for the cousins since we live overseas.

*Most motorhomes that you rent are NOT fully stocked. We had to make many trips to Wal-Mart along the way.

*Everything around a campfire is better!

*Tubing in Yosemite is awesome- especially if you bring your own tube and don't rent one of theirs.

*Squirrels in National Parks are NOT scared of humans and are EVERYWHERE waiting to get your food

*With camping, there is dirt involved.  Bring LOTS of wipes, paper towels and hand sanitizer.

*You cannot have enough zip locks!

*Always try to buy a bag of ice whenever you get the chance.

*Bring air freshener.

*No matter what the temperature is outside, someone will always complain.

*Boys don't care about taking showers, but girls do.

*A boy's best friend is a pocket knife.

*Have a secret stash of chocolate, as living in an RV with 5 other people might prove to be stressful at times ;)

*Keep your electronics charged, as you never know when an elk may walk in front of your car 

*head-lamps are essential (this is Levi's tough guy face)

*Laundromats can be particularly soothing when everything else seems chaotic and messy

*White water rafting in Jackson Hole, WY is fun until one of your kiddos falls off of the raft
*Stopping at the Bar J Ranch is totally worth it...real cowboys make your food!

*God's creation is AMAZING!  See for yourself below!!!