Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, March 20, 2010

sukiyaki and pie

Jill's birthday was this past week and we celebrated as a family tonight. Grandma Lois invited us over and Jill wanted sukiyaki. She LOVES it! We all do! And instead of the traditional birthday cake, she and I always ask for the Bread Basket chocolate cream pie. Mmmmmm!

I didn't think one pie would do it, so I decided to make another pie. I was thinking pecan, Allen's favorite. Well, it used to be. But now he raves about Toll House pie. They serve that at the Bread Basket too, but I thought I would try making it. I found this awesome recipe! It is soooo easy!
(this pie pan belonged to my grandmother Voran long time ago)

1 unbaked 9" deep dish pie shell (I make mine with lard, oh soooo good)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup softened butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecan since I was thinking I was going to bake a pecan pie)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Beat eggs in large mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour and the sugars. Beat in butter. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.

Bake 55-60 minutes or until knife inserted 1/2 to center comes out clean. Cool on rack.
Here is Hannah trying out chopsticks to eat her sukiyaki.

I remember when I was a preschooler living in Japan and my maid/nanny teaching me how to use the chopsticks.

Hannah: "I must say I think I'm getting the hang of chop ticks - whatever you call them."

Sophie is too.

Notice both chopstick and fork in one hand!

Watching the KU game.

We ended up in the living room glued to it the last few minutes. But....STINK!
Can't believe the upsets during this March Madness, huh?

Dad cooking the sukiyaki

So, during the meal, somehow the topic of a carnivore comes up. Hannah explains what that means. Then she goes on to explain what an herbivore is.
I don't believe I knew what those terms meant until I was in highschool.

Papa (Allen) says "What do you call someone who eats only ice-cream?"

Answer: FAT!

Getting ready to blow out candles for her 29th birthday.
The whole family joined in to help.
Blew so hard the 9 fell over.

Mom and Dad volunteer at Et Cetera. My Mom comes home with the craziest gifts. She loves gag gifts. And we are recipients of these gifts for birthdays and Christmas (along with very generous gift cards of course).

" Don't be alarmed
Don't be misled
These aren't for you
But for your dishes instead.
So take off the bows
and pull out the stitches
You've now gained 3 dish clothes
And lost your bra and britches."

Jill was hoping I would give her this for her birthday.
I understand that Lindsay Frazier has also been hoping so and wants to borrow this!
Definitely a must see girly movie!

Well, despite KU's loss, we had a fun evening.
Hope this 29th year is a very blessed one, Jill!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

29 years ago

29 years ago Jill Katrina joined the family. She was born early in the morning at our apartment in Wichita. Grandma Graber (Kathern) was there along with the 2 midwives and a friend. The weather was nasty - a tornado followed by snow. My parents were in Japan. When we called them, we played back via tape recorder (no video cams or skypes back then) Jill's first cry. My parents cried.

After she was born, we woke Josh up to introduce him to his new baby sister. She "gave" him a toy car and he thought she was ok!

See that doll beside Jill? His name was Adam! And now she sleeps with an Adam every night! We bought this doll at a garage sale to teach Josh about potty training (it had a hole in the bottom).

Fishing at the creek behind the farm house.

I think this is Jill around the 4th grade

After Jill graduated from highschool, she attended Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago where she lost her heart to Adam.

They married and lived in Green Bay, Wisconsin for 4 years.

But then they moved here!

Jill, you are so fun to be with!

A wonderful mommy

married to a super daddy.

Your godly wisdom and love for Christ amaze me.
So glad and proud that I am your mother! and the grandmother to your children.

Happy Birthday, Jill!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Retreat – to draw back; an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable; a place of privacy or safety: refuge. This month I have been privileged to go on 2 retreats! On March 5-6 Allen and I and the Webers hung out with some very special young couples at the Hesston Crosswinds Conference Center. Kendall and Amanda put together an awesome program with Cheri Busenitz’ help (she has put together conferences for several years in Alaska and is a great resource!). This conference was based on the book "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas.

I love this picture of the pregnant young ladies! They are so cute! (Pictures by Kendall. I forgot my camera)

Allen explaining marriage to the guys. Ha!

Each marriage goes through seasons. There are often rough years; whether infertility, expectations not met, a spouse who spends too many hours at work…. Most marriages will not go unscathed at some time. Many people enter marriage thinking that this one person will fulfill all their needs and fill a void in their heart and soul. But really, only God can be our primary source of satisfaction and joy in life.

When a diamond is first mined, it looks pretty ugly. But after being chipped away, it begins to sparkle and is beautiful! Marriage often is the setting for us to be chipped away – our selfishness, the struggles and challenges. “As iron sharpens iron…” Prov. 27:17. Marriage is a setting to help us become more like Christ. So, take a look at your left hand - at the diamond you put on when you got married. Let it remind you that it is going through the tough times and sticking it out together, with God's help that will help your marriage shine and be a reflection of God to the world. This past weekend, March 13-14, Jill and I attended our women’s retreat at Rock Springs 4-H camp close to Junction City. What a fun time!

Friday evening we spent playing games. First we shared our full names (many people had the same middle name. I was the only one with Corinne as my middle name). We also shared one thing most people don’t know about us. That was soooo funny! Lots of secrets!! I shared about the time on the ship going back to Japan when I was 8, my missionary friend and I went out on deck after dark. We were supposed to be in bed but we snuck out. There was a young kid out there who grabbed us and he started to throw me over board. He was probably joking - who knows - but I remember seeing the decks below, watching the water churning by, the moon reflecting on the water while hanging over the rail. Then I heard a shout. My friend's dad, Uncle Verney, came on deck. This kid dropped us and ran. I guess Uncle Verney got him because this kid was locked up the rest of the trip. His parents weren’t happy about that but the captain was adamant that he would stay there until we reached port.

Ice-breaker game. Bobbie and Julie

Our youth pastor’s wife, Christina, spoke from Phil 3:4-8. Paul had quite the pedigree! But in the face of that, his only true asset was knowing Christ. It isn’t about performance or how great our past is. Christina challenged us to think about what we need to lose in order to gain Christ. It is knowing Christ that matters. He is all about relationship. Follow hard after Him! With all your heart, soul and strength!

I loved the workshop on the story of hymns. I love those stories! Most were written in adversity. “You cannot climb a smooth mountain.”

Well, I'm rested, refreshed. What a great time getting to know others better. Much encouraged! Thanks to all who worked so hard to provide this time for us!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

5 years

Five years ago today, I made a 14 hour trip up to Green Bay, Wisconsin for the birth of our first grandchild - Hannah Kathern. Today Hannah celebrated her 5th birthday. And she lives about 3 minutes away from us now!
How blessed are we!

Hannah wanted hamburgers and hot dogs for her dinner.
It was warm enough outside for our first grill of the season!

A five generation picture.

Happy birthday, sweet Hannah.
You are very special to us!!!