Sunday, November 30, 2008

What a weekend!

The weekend began with a trip to the ER...Levi started with a rash from head to toe and ended up with severe pain in his much so that he couldn't walk. We still don't know if it was an allergic reaction to something or a virus. Whatever the case, we left the hospital with steroids, anti-histamines and pain meds. Saturday the rash and pain were gone, so whatever it was, it left as quickly as it came. We were thankful for that.

Even though the weekend didn't begin the way we wanted, it turned out well.

Here are a few of the highlights:
~ On Saturday evening, we went to the Christmas program for Luke and Abby's Hort. Abby was Mary and Luke was a construction worker in the play. It was a great program!

~We got our Christmas tree up and decorated and watched plenty of Christmas movies!

~Today we went out to Reisenberg to visit Maria and Herbert and sample some of her delicious cookies that she sells during the Christmas season.

~This evening we finished our five week long study on Jesus in the Gospel according to Luke. For us it has been such an encouragement to have 6 families from many different cultures and spiritual backgrounds all come together, to get to know each other better, and to have the kids also have a study together... Our neighbors graciously let us use their office on the 2nd floor as a place to meet, while the kids stayed up in our kid-friendly apartment. Stacey usually stayed with the kids, together with our friends Leslie and Ingrid. There were lots of good discussions and insight and questions, and hopefully a good basis for future studies. After each study, we'd come upstairs to meet all together with kids and adults for a simple meal, and to hang out and talk.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gettin in the Groove...

I am finally getting in the Thanksgiving groove. I have my turkey thawing, my homemade cranberry sauce is chilling, my pumpkin squares are baking and the snow is lightly falling as I look outside my kitchen window. So much to be thankful for...

Last year we made a list of many of the things we were thankful for. A few more silly things I would add this year to the list would be:

~ the "widgets" application on my Mac. It seems that everyday I need to convert something.

~ canned pumpkin and canned sweet potatoes (sent with love from a friend in the States) Austrian friends laugh, but it sure makes life so much easier when you don't have to boil, peel, mash etc... instead just OPEN the can!

and a few more serious things to add:
~ our teammates packed their container yesterday and they will be here in time for Christmas!

~ and what a difference a year makes! We are so much more settled, I know where to find things, who to ask and now that we have a to bigger and better stores that have things like a turkey and fresh cranberries.
And speaking of "gettin in the groove"...

Tonight Brad and I begin our first dance class. Remember last year when our neighbors asked us to go to a ball with them and we went...only to look like complete idiots on the dancefloor!!! Well no more.

We were talking with some other friends...who also say they don't know how to dance (we'll soon see if they were lying) and we decided we would take lessons together...stay tuned for more updates on the dancing saga!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas on the brain...

Today was the first snow of the season. We went to a Christmas Market this morning. Now I have Christmas music playing...

I have Christmas on the brain and can't seem to get geared up for Thanksgiving. I'm going through my recipes and trying to figure out what I will make for some of our friends who will be joining us....maybe something from Paula or Ina. Or maybe we'll just go out for schnitzel and come back to our house for dessert?

One thing is for sure...I know I will make my Grandma's Pumpkin Squares...I'll share the recipe just in case you are searching for ideas too!


1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats (oatmeal)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter

Combine all of these ingredients until crumbly-pat into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.

Pumpkin Layer:
1 and 3/4 cup pumpkin (1 can)
1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2-3/4 cup of hot water (be sure to watch not want it too runny)

Mix ingredients together, pour over crust and bake at 350 for 20 more minutes.

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of softened butter

Mix and sprinkle over the top of the hot pumpkin and return to the oven for 15 more minutes.

Let cool, then serve with whipped cream. Refrigerate if not all gobbled up in one sitting:)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Levi's Family Portrait

Levi brought this picture home from school today.  Our family, through the eyes of Levi.  Guess who is the roundest one?  

At least I have a smile on my round body...;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Holding on and storing up...

We began our weekend in search of pancakes...the fluffy kind with real syrup. The VCS- Vienna Christian School Pancake Breakfast did not disappoint.  Above, is Abby walking with Leslie, a friend and helper to us and a teacher at the school. Then we were off to the park to see the leaves holding on for dear life as winter fast approaches... 
It was great to see the sun this weekend too.  A nice change from the gray that dominated the skies last week.
And because we need to store up some fat for winter, (Ha!) we also tried a new Chicken pot pie recipe and made Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes De-lish!
All of these things made for an enjoyable weekend...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Favorites-Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Those of you who remember our "Farley" chocolate lab days probably thought that the Hunters would never get another dog again...(by the way, as far as we know Farley pooch is still happily married) ;)

well, time heals all wounds and we think after much research we are ready to add a four-legged addition to the Hunter clan...

meet Milka...
She is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and will be available to pick up in 3 weeks. We all can hardly wait!!! (note: contrary to what others have thought, she's not the plastic labrador on the right)

Last Night...

I hosted my first PartyLite candle party. If you ever get the chance, you should host or go to one, as they are lots of fun! And you should make Paula Deen's Hot Spinach-Artichoke Dip and Cookie Dough Truffles! Yummy:)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Give Thanks...

How is it the middle of November already? I was recently reading through my Family Fun magazine and found a fun and easy way to "give thanks". Decorate some sort of container (or just use a glass bowl like us) and cut strips of colorful paper. Each night at dinner during the month of November, each family member takes the time to write something they are thankful for. (I modified this for our family, as the original idea is to do it all year round) On Thanksgiving, you read what you are thankful for aloud...then you use the strips to make a paper chain for your Christmas Tree. Easy huh?
This morning I am particularly thankful for a little guy who stayed home from school today because of a nasty cough, a game of Cariboo and snuggles on the sofa.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I depend on Brad for a lot. Especially since moving overseas. Because his German is at a level I cannot even dream of being at, he handles the bills, he usually is the one to help the kids with their homework, he maintains the electronic stuff, he writes out directions for me if I can't figure out how to get somewhere...yes, you must be thinking, what does Stacey do?

I ask myself the same question all too often. When living in the States I was pretty independent. I could communicate effectively with my kid's teachers, I could take my dry cleaning in without worrying I might ask for the wrong thing, I knew how to get around the city of Hollywood, and now it seems a day does not go by when I don't struggle with some sort of inadequacy.

And I really feel it when Brad is out of town (and right now he is at a Pastor's conference in the Netherlands...). It began on Tuesday when our land line (phone) to the States wouldn't work...then when I tried to use my cell was saying I needed to add more minutes...what? Brad always does this...he fixes the electronic things that are broken, he adds minutes to my handy.

Then tonight I was speaking with a friend who has a son in Abby's class. She asked me if I had reviewed with Abby all of the things that were going to be on a test in the morning? What? A test? When I asked Abby if she had all of her homework done, she said yes. If Brad were here, he would have read it in her plan for the week and this wouldn't have been left for the last minute...

To top off my day of feeling completely unable to do anything right...I went to the grocery store. I had filled my cart and was already in the check-out lane...usually groceries is the ONE thing I can do pretty confidently. As I start to unload my groceries I remember that I brought a different purse with that did NOT contain my wallet or any other form of money!!!

Ok, since I don't know how to tell the cashier that I forgot my wallet at home and I don't know how to ask what I should do with the cart...I promptly put my groceries back in the cart and then return everything to it's original home. Are you noticing a theme here?

Thankfully, when I got back in the car after leaving the grocery store with nothing... the hymn "It is well with my soul" was playing in the CD player. I don't believe that was a coincidence. I think in that moment, God knew I needed to hear the sweet lyrics to that hymn and be reminded once again that my circumstances and inadequacies do not define who I am. I am a beloved daughter of the King, whose blood was shed for me... and this I can certainly depend and rely on.

(I am also glad that Brad returns home tomorrow;)

Monday, November 03, 2008


Abby, who had the most difficulty of our children with the adjustment of moving now becoming the most like the culture she now lives in. She loves to wear scarves, she prefers dark bread over light and her German is really good. It continues to amaze me how the Austrian culture is now the norm for our kids...even after only living here for just over a year.