Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Never-ending Monopoly games
Lots of skiing
Snuggles with Memoo

Snowman building

Christmas carols by candlelight

and delicious cake-balls!
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brownie Cheesecake Peppermint Bars...

Do not even try to figure out the calories in these bars...because it is A LOT and if you think about that you will not enjoy them near as much! Happy Eating!

I adapted my recipe from THIS

Take your store bought cookie dough and line the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Bake until lightly browned and then let cool.

Mix up a batch of boxed brownies, adding 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract before baking. (according to the box directions).  Once out of the oven, pour into a bowl and break the brownies into small pieces.  Then immediately add 8 oz. of cream cheese and stir until smooth.  Spread this over your cooled cookie layer.  I put this in the fridge while I melted my white chocolate, so it would set up a little faster.

Next melt 12 oz of white chocolate over a double boiler.
While the chocolate is melting, unwrap a package of Dove peppermint chocolate.  I put them in a ziplock and then use meat tenderizer or rolling pin to break them into fine pieces.

Once your white chocolate is melted, pour it over your brownie/cream cheese layer.  Then sprinkle your chopped Dove candy pieces on top.

Before I put them in the freezer to harden, I "scored" them so they would be easier to cut once they were completely hardened.  (If I was smart, I would have lined the pan with foil before baking the sugar cookie layer...but this still worked)

The finished product!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

It's really December already?

Really?  How did the first week of December already fly by?

One of the reasons it has probably gone so fast, is that Brad is back in Vienna until next week.  He and Lindsay are helping our new teammates, the Beilman's get settled. He has also been able to catch up with some of our friends and neighbors, play in some snow and preach 2 Sundays at NCW!

This weekend our kiddos had the opportunity to sing in St.Andrews' Christmas concert.  Brad's mom (Neena) had been in the choir for years, and this was one of her favorite concerts to participate in.  It was a little bittersweet to watch the kids perform without her.  I am sure these next few weeks will only bring more moments of sadness as we celebrate our first Christmas without her.

We also are preparing to start saying our goodbyes, as we get ready to return to Vienna in January. Our next few weeks are filled with lots of dinners and parties, and even though they will be lots of fun, our kids will be saying goodbye to their classmates and teachers that they have spent the last 5 months with.
We are so proud of them and their willingness to jump into life here!  All of their teachers have expressed to us what a joy they have been in their classes, and how much they will be missed.

Still,  as much as we will hate saying goodbye to our family and friends~ we all are ready to get back to our life and ministry in Vienna!  We have needed to be here and our time has been productive, but we are ready to get back to our "normal" routine. (whatever "normal" means...Ha!)

Our plan is to head to North Carolina with our family for a few weeks once the kids are out of school, then we will return to Florida for one more week, before we depart on January 13th.

If you are wanting an address to send a Christmas card to, your best bet is :
St. Andrews Pres. Church
500 North Park Road
Hollywood, FL
(please be sure to write on the envelope Att. Hunter Family)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Field Trips and Feasts...

Last week I got to join Levi's class on a field trip to Tradewinds Park.  We had a great day learning about the animals and the farm and he even got to ride a pony!

Then yesterday, Levi's class prepared us a Thanksgiving feast!  He was in charge of serving up the turkey loaf...yummy!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Check out the new website for our church in Vienna.

Thanks to Lindsay for all her hard work in putting this together, and to Daniel for helping get it up!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


When Brad and I were first married and just starting to do ministry at St. Andrews, I would take Miss Kerry out for some "girl time"! That was a long time ago!  Now she is all grown up and married herself. Yesterday after church we met up for lunch, and she asked if she could spend some "girl time" with my baby girl!  It was such an encouragement to my heart, and a blast for Abby!  Thank you for lovin on us :)

Sharing a bit of our lives...

Last night Brad had the opportunity to preach at First Pres Margate, and then today we got to share at our kiddos' school chapels.  We spoke with the elementary and middle school kids.  It is always fun getting to share a bit of what our lives look like in Vienna!

Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Beach...

This weekend we had the privilege of attending the wedding of Brad's aunt Cheryl.  It was so fun to be able to celebrate with our extended family!  Times like these, we certainly don't take for granted since moving overseas!

Monday, November 15, 2010


This is a blog that I check out for recipes,  and she never disappoints me!  Every recipe I have stolen from her is delicious...and these mini chocolate turtles are no exception!
Just in time for the holidays :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Operation Christmas Child...

Samaritan's Purse has a project called "Operation Christmas Child", where you can fill a shoebox with goodies for a child in need.  Luke, Abby and Levi loved picking out the treats and packing up the boxes!  It's not too too can send off a shoebox!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our little fishies...

When we originally left Vienna, we were only planning on being here about 7 weeks...not 6 months.
Thankfully many friends have come to the rescue, and have been caring for our little fishies (cause they are family too you know)

Melissa, thanks for giving Luke and Levi some actual proof that they are doing just fine:)

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Let the traveling begin...

Flying is not my favorite thing to do.  Even as I sit and write this, I am in an airport waiting to board a plane that is getting something fixed, delaying us by 2 hours.  Always anxiety producing.  But flying gets us to people and places that we love, so I say my prayers and take my Xanax.  Seriously.

Last week we traveled to Illinois, which is my old stomping ground and where I consider to be one of the best places on Earth.  The good ol' Midwest.  Friendly folks, farmland, Monicals pizza and Gene's ice cream...really what more could one ask for.  Certain people in my family, who will remain nameless, think that I actually idealize the town where most of my formative years were spent.  He is right. But many of those friendships that I made a long time ago, are still intact and are very rich and deep.  We share a history and I love that.  They know the good, the bad and the ugly about me and still love me anyway.  As a result of this history, we saw over 48 people in about 48 hours.

Crazy I know, but so fun and encouraging!  I got to see friends from many stages of my time in B/N... my jr. high and high school years, my nursing school years, from my working days at the hospital,  those who I attended church with and went on my first mission trip with,  and friends who we have adopted as "grandparents" for our kiddos.  Along with friends, we got to spend some time with my brother who we don't get to see very often.  The only problem is that there is never enough time to share all that is happening in our lives or be able to listen long enough to what God is doing in their lives.

Besides hanging out with friends and family, we also got to make some really fun memories with our kids.  Our first stop was Chicago, and I got to take Abby for a date to the American Girl doll store, while Brad got to take the boys to see a ND football game (his Alma mater).  Yes, they lost...but it didn't matter.  Brad just loved showing them the campus and giving them a taste of his college days.

When we asked the kids what their favorite part of the trip was...they said ALL OF IT!
(you can't get better than that!)
More craziness...
I started this post at the Ft. Lauderdale airport and we have since been driven to Miami to try and take another flight out to Philly, as we were pretty sure that we were not going to make it out today from FT. Lauderdale.   This week is the WHM's team leaders retreat.  Lots of planning, praying, training and strategizing.  I return home on Tuesday and Brad will return home on Friday. 

The rest of November we are trying to visit some of our supporting churches,  speak at some chapel
services where our kiddos go to school, finish up with Neena's house in preparation to sell, celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and then Brad will be headed to Vienna for a short trip to help get our newest teammates, the Beilmans settled! :)

So that is another quick update from us. We continue to be thankful for your prayers, financial support and times of getting to catch up with so many of you!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Cat and the Hat

Today is "Book Character" day at school.  Aren't they cute!

Hard Work Pays off...

All of the kiddos made the honor roll this semester!  We are so proud of how hard everyone has worked :)
(these pictures were taken at the elementary chapel presentation)

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Even though we wish we could have joined our friends in Austria who were apple picking today, we still had fun picking out "punkins" with our family!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spirit Week...

Luke has had fun showing his school spirit this week...
Here he is on Nerd Day!

Memoo moved!

Last Saturday Memoo moved...which means that we moved too!  We had lots of help from some great folks from church.  (Thanks again everybody!)  We finally are getting settled, have internet back and are turning her place into a sweet little home!

The Sharks season comes to an end...

We are so proud of Luke!  He really worked hard this season and had a great time playing football for the Sharks!  His coaches told us that he definitely was one of the most improved players of the season...who knows, maybe when we go back to Vienna he will play for the Vikings one day :)
Here he is making a catch in the last game of the season!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


We are in Moving we prepare to move my mom into her new place this weekend, so the majority of my time lately has been spent packing and purging, but I have also found some time for:
making- homemade applesause
baking- pumpkin bread
reading- Choosing to SEE, by Mary Beth Chapman
and pretending that Fall has actually arrived in South Florida;)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


To celebrate Uncle Rick's 40th birthday, we did it up right and got nose-bleed section tickets to a Miami Heat Game!  It was soooo fun watching Wade, James and Bosh play together!  The final score was 105-89...with the Heat over-taking the Pistons.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Team Building

A lot of our team building has to be done over the phone, so we jumped at the opportunity to spend a few days with the Beilman family in Cocoa Beach, FL this past weekend!
They are at 90% and we can't wait to all be together in Vienna :)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Our Lovely Lindsay...

Living in Vienna with our teammate Lindsay,  has bonded us in such a way that we now consider her family!  It meant so much having her come to Florida to be with us during Neena's visitation and funeral.
She was already in the States for her brother's wedding~ so we appreciated the few days we got to spend with her.

She is back in Vienna now and needing all of our prayers more than ever!  It is hard enough being overseas with a team, but when your team is in the States, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and lonely.
Also please pray for her to stay healthy, for her language learning and ministry opportunities.

Great Grandma and Grandpa...

Many of our family and friends traveled long distances to come to Neena's funeral.  My grandparents were no exception, and flew in from Iowa!  They stayed a few extra days and we really enjoyed our time with them :)

Questions and Answers...

FAQ's regarding the Hunters 5...

1. Why are you still in Florida and how long are you staying?

Good question.  Initially our intent was to come and be with Brad's Mom (Neena) in her last days of life.  Our return tickets to Vienna were for September 1, but Neena was still hanging on.  We knew we couldn't leave and so we had to make some decisions regarding our length of stay here in the States.

Additionally, there was/is much to be done here to help Stacey's Mom find a new place to live, help her move, go through all of Brad's Mom's things, and put her house on the market.

Another thing on our mind was that for every five years overseas, we have to return to the States for 6 consecutive months to be eligible for Social Security benefits.  We decided that even though we had only lived in Vienna for 3 years, now was a good time to fulfill this requirement.
Our return flight back to Vienna is on January 13th.

2.  How is Brad's back doing?

Brad is going to a Spine Institute, where they integrate physical therapy, deep muscle massage and chiropractic care among other things.  There's still a way to go, but this is the best he has felt in 6 months, so we are thankful for that!

3.  Is your church still meeting?

Yes!  Lindsay is back in Vienna and our young church, New City Wien, is still meeting on a weekly basis for fellowship.  We are having different pastor friends fill in the pulpit, and it has been very encouraging to hear about how members in our core group are taking on new responsibilities to make things go smoothly while we are here.

Our teammates, the Beilmans, have raised over 90% of their support needs, and are hoping to move to Vienna in mid-November.   Please pray for the Beilmans to get to 100% quickly!

4.  How are you all hanging in there?

Certainly there is a big void in our lives without Neena, yet we have a genuine peace knowing that her suffering is over, that she is experiencing perfect joy in the presence of the Lord.   We are so grateful to God for His salvation of Neena, and for giving us 2 months to spend with her before she died.

There are still many things to get settled in Florida before we return, but we are looking forward to being in Vienna again, and to having more teammates there with us.

5.  Will you be doing any traveling?

Yes.  The end of October we are headed to Illinois to see family and friends.  In November, Brad will be traveling to Philadelphia for a WHM Team leaders retreat and in December we will be heading to North Carolina.  All of our traveling plans are subject to change, and most likely there will be more traveling than what is mentioned here. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lake Placid...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


lots of bubbles in the tub :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Milka turns 2!

We love to it is probably no surprise that we threw a little party for Milka's 2nd Birthday!
This is one happy dog who loves to hang out on a boogie board!
 Once the kiddos got out of the pool, they decorated some "bones"...with cookies and cream sprinkles to match Milka's spots

Ethan and Coleman 

Mackenzie and Abby    

Rowan looking cute as always!
Levi saying cheese
 Luke flaring his nostrils because he knows it totally annoys me :)
and 2 of my bestest buddies...Kim and Shannon
and Milka even got some homemade dog treats shaped like cats from the Smith family!
She certainly is well loved!  Happy Birthday Milka Joy Chili Pepper Hunter :)