Thursday, December 20, 2007

"What's going on Saturday?"

A hilarious conversation around the Ellis table last Sunday. As you will notice communication in our family specifically about family events can be a little cloudy! ;) It keeps things interesting!

Me: So Mom what time are we all supposed to come over on Saturday?
Mom: What's going on on Saturday?
Me: Ummm, we are all coming over to celebrate Christmas since Hannah's family and Lew and I won't be here for Christmas!
Mom: Ohhh, I didn't know that! When did we decide that.
Me: (I'm cracking up at this point) Mom we decided this weeks ago, that's one of the reasons why Hannah is driving up from North Carolina this weekend!
Now Sam and Priscila join in:
Sam
: Wait whats going on on Saturday?
Priscila: Honey were coming here to celebrate Christmas while Laura and Lew and Hannah and Enoch are here.
Sam: We are? Did you know about that honey? I didn't know that!
Priscila: Yes love I have known about this for a while!
Now Dad joins in the conversation...
Dad:
So wait a second what's going on Saturday?
(everyone starts chuckling)
Me:
Dad everyone is coming over Saturday to celebrate Christmas because some of us won't be here on Christmas.
Dad: I didn't know that either!
Priscila: (talking to my parents) So are you still going to do something on the 25th even though everyone is coming Saturday?
Dad: Whats the 25th!!??
Everyone laughing hysterically at this point...
Multiple people:
DAD ITS CHRISTMAS!!!

My family is so funny! I love you guys ;) Can't wait to celebrate with you on Saturday (It is Saturday right? ;) )

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pinned!

I had my pinning ceremony last night, in nursing school its a traditional ceremony where you are given a pin to wear on your uniform as well as exhorted to "be the best nurse you can be" ;)  It was a nice ceremony, nothing fancy, but memorable.  I think the reason why it's taking time to "hit" me that I'm done is because I'm done with this journey, but there are so many more to come!  The boards, my critical care course at the hospital, precepting under a nurse on the PICU where I will be working, and taking care of my first patients on my own (yikes!).  Fortunately these all come one at a time, so I won't be overwhelmed.  But I guess I am just realizing finishing this program is really just a start to a whole new realm of learning.  Maybe not quite as structured, but as a nurse you are ALWAYS learning!

Here are some pictures from the ceremony:

Mom and Dad ;)

Rissa and Grandma
Filing into the ceremony
Getting "pinned" by professor Schuler
Finally pinned ;)

::Nightingale Pledge::
"I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly to faithfully practice my profession of nursing.  I will do all in my power to make and maintain the highest standards and practices of my profession.

I will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping in the practice of my calling.  I will assist the physician in his work and will devote myself to the welfare of my patients, my family, and my community. 

I will endeavor to fulfill my rights and privileges as a good citizen and take my share of responsibility in promoting the health and welfare of the community.

I will constantly endeavor to increase my knowledge and skills in nursing and to use them wisely. 

I will zealously seek to nurse those who are ill wherever they may be and whenever they are in need.

I will be active in assisting others in safeguarding and promoting the health and happiness of mankind."
 .

    author unknown

I made this pledge last night, as I read through it I actually got a little teary eyed (lets call it exhaustion ;) )  Either way while reading it I just couldn't help but see how God's enduring faithfulness has brought me to this point.  Without his mercy I wouldn't be here today, a graduated nurse.  And by his grace I can keep this pledge.  My prayer is that I will never become an apathetic careless nurse, there are already too many of those in our world.  And mainly that I will never lose a heart of compassion;  that I will never stop treating my patients as if they were my brother, sister, child, or parent...  Thanks to so many of you for your encouragement and prayers!  I am so thankful to my friends and family for walking through this journey with me!  

A little "shout out" to my friend Maureen (who I know is reading this ;) )for getting the award for Academic excellence.  Maureen I am so proud of you, all your hard work has paid off!  I am thankful to have spent these last two years with you, we have to keep in touch!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Where did the year go?!


Us a year ago...



Us now...








As I am typing this it's crazy to think that one year ago we became husband and wife!  This year has been so full, God has been blessing us and teaching us so much, I just can't believe that the year is gone.  We haven't quite celebrated yet just because we wanted to wait until after school had finished so we could really enjoy our time together.  So we plan to go away for two nights over New Years.  We did eat our cake though, and amazingly it was SO good.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was great.  

To My Love:  That God would bless me with a godly, humble, servant like you is beyond my comprehension, but please know how blessed I am to be your wife.  You have taught me so much through your faith and perseverance, I can't wait to see what the years hold for us!!


On another note,  I had my final today, and yes that means I'm done! I'm still in shock. It could be the fact that I only got 3 hours of sleep last night, or the fact that my life has been so dedicated to this nursing program for the last two years that its hard to imagine it really being over!  I'm sure it will hit me...eventually, maybe when I go to take my board exam.  But until then, I will just try to enjoy some undivided quality time with my husband.  He's the one who sacrificed the most this year for me to be able to study hard, I don't know how I could have done it without him!

I hope to post some more pictures soon.   Rissa is finally back from Budapest and we got to celebrate her 19th birthday yesterday.  My graduation ceremony is also tomorrow, so I will post some pictures of that, until then....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Supply & Demand

This morning I woke up feeling weary.  More aware of weakness rather than grace, more aware of my "to-do's" than of all that God has done for me, and more aware of what I lack at the moment, than of the reality that my greatest need has been met through Christ.  

Though I despise the weariness, I love the result of the weariness --> Dependence!  I knew this morning that I needed to kneel before the cross and lay down my burdens.  I knew that I needed to find my sufficiency in Christ and not in myself.  What a sweet reminder!

I found this precious "gem" or truth in Beside Still Waters by Charles Spurgeon:

We have great demands, but Christ has great supplies.  Between here and heaven, we may have greater wants than we have yet known.  But all along the journey, every resting place is ready; provisions are laid up, good cheer is stored and NOTHING has been overlooked.  The commissary of the Eternal is absolutely perfect.

Do you sometimes feel so thirsty for grace that you could drink the Jordan dry?  More than a river could hold is given to you, so drink abundantly, for Christ has prepared a bottomless sea of grace to fill you with all the fullness of God.   DO NOT BE FRUGAL. Do not doubt your Savior.  Do not limit the Holy One of Israel.  Be great in your experience of His-all-sufficiency .  Be great in your praises of His bounty, and in heaven you will pour great treasures of gratitude at His feet.

What great mercy He has shown us!  

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Yummy Pecan Goodness...


The other night we were having some friends over for dessert...originally I had big ideas of what kinds of dessert I was going to make.  I had a ton of new recipes I had been holding onto and waiting for the right time to break them out.  As I went through some of the recipes I wanted to try I decided I wasn't up for all the work they entailed, so I fell back on something I had made before that required LITTLE effort and LITTLE ingredients ;) And they are so very yummy, cant beat that!

They are Hungarian Cookie Bars.  Don't know what about them makes them Hungarian, but I made them this past summer when we were sending my sweet little sister off to study abroad in Hungary.  Either way the recipe is so easy, and they are delicious.  You can add whatever kind of nuts you want as a topping.  I have tried both walnuts and pecans, and I liked the pecans best.  They taste like little pecan pies, they have a dense crust like layer, a ooey gooey middle, and a nice caramel like crust on top with nuts....yum!

Hungarian Cookie Bars

1 3/4 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C butter/margarine softened
1 teas. vanilla
1 1/4 C all purpose flour
2 Large eggs
1 C chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease a 9" square baking pan; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together 3/4 cup of the brown sugar and the margarine. Add vanilla and flour; mix well. Pat this mixture into the bottom of the baking pan.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the remaining 1 cup brown sugar; mix well. Pour into the pan over the first mixture. Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the top.
Bake at 325ºF for 30 to 40 minutes, or until center is no longer jiggly. Cool completely before slicing. Slice into 2-1/2"x1-1/2" bars.





Thursday, December 06, 2007

All I want for Christmas are ....trash ties?



trashychristmas.jpg

Yes ladies (and men?)  these little things would be the perfect stocking stuffer for any lady in your family...or you could always just buy them for yourselves ;)  Either way these things are great, you've got to check them out!  I have an unusually thick head of hair and most hair "contraptions" don't work at all or give me a headache....I have been waiting for something like this to come on the market...and alas here it is!  Make sure you look at the gallery on the website to see how cool they look. 

Monday, December 03, 2007

Meat & Taters...

DSC_0008.jpg
Lew is definitely a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy.  Though he puts up with my "frilly" concoctions I like to try to bless him with the kind of meals that he truly enjoys!  Even though he's easy to please it's cute to see him get so excited over a meat and taters dish ;)

So, here is something I made this week for the first time and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. I don't have kiddos but I imagine that they would be quite fond of these little little meat muffins;)  They tasted so yummy and really weren't very hard to make.  I served it with brown sugar glazed carrots and mashed potatoes. 


Diner Meat Loaf Muffins
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ketchup, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
1 cup finely crushed fat-free saltine crackers (about 20)
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes. 


To make the brown sugar glazed carrots...

Boil about 2 cups of baby carrots in salted water for about 8-10 minutes (until tender-crisp).  Then drain and set aside.  In same pot add 1 tbs butter, 1 tbs brown sugar, and a dash of salt.  Stir until mixed in and butter is melted.  Add carrots and stir for two minutes until glazed.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Family


So we were actually able to get a shot of all our family (all that were in MD that is...we missed hannah's fam, and Rissa!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Favorite time of year...

This time of year is definitely a special time of year for us.  The time frame between Thanksgiving and New Years was always so special growing up.  My parents had many traditions and we made so many fun memories growing up. But this time of year is special for another reason too, almost one year ago I became Mrs. Lewis.  The last couple days as we were celebrating Thanksgiving it was so much fun to think back to last year at this time.  I remember it so well, the craziness of school, planning a wedding, and getting ready for the Holidays.  I think I have partly forgotten the craziness, and mainly remember the butterflies and the excitement of becoming Lew's wife.  It's hard to believe that here we are, almost at our one year anniversary, now making some of our own traditions and memories.  And this time of year wouldn't be complete without school craziness, but this week has been a nice little break, I got a full week off!
Yesterday we spent the day at my parents and had a lot of fun eating lots of good food, and spending time with all our family (except Hannah's family, and Rissa...we missed you all!!)  Here are a few cute pictures from yesterday ( I couldn't take too many because my camera battery was dying and I forgot to charge the battery, but I did get lots of Gianna though!)
The order of the pictures are kind of random, I couldn't get blogger to sort them...


Mommy and Gianna

Sitting on the stool... (she loved this little stool, she kept climbing up on it!)







"Meema" and Gianna

Playing..


Playing Frisbee with Dad




Then today we followed in one of my family's traditions and went to Pine Valley Farms to cut down our first tree...well my Dad really did the cutting, but picking it out was a family effort.   Once we found the right one we loaded it up and brought it home.  What seemed like an "easy" task wasn't quite as easy as we thought, but it was fun none-the-less.  I had to laugh as we were trying to get it to stand up straight for the tenth time...my parents made it look so easy all those years ;)  We finally got it up and added the lights and decorations, then spent a little while trying to clean the needles off of the floor.  But let me just say this, the work was worth it.  Having the tree up made our little place feel so cozy, and the smell is amazing!  Then after the tree was up, and some yummy left overs were eaten, we started a new little tradition... a Christmas movie marathon.  Right now I'm watching home alone 2, with my sleepy husband passed out beside me (he was out after the 2nd one!)
Here are a few captured moments in the process of putting up the tree...

Finally got it inside...now where to put it?


Lew trying to snip away some of the branches so it will fit in the stand



Finally got it standing and the decorations are on...





Monday, November 19, 2007

Life as it is...

So there hasn't been much time for updating at our place. Between school being super busy and a plethora of interviews my time has been consumed, my sweet Lew has been compensating well by doing a lot around the house and being my "cheerleader" when I need it ;)

I do have one big update now though... I got a job!  I decided to work at University of MD Medical Center in the Pediatric ICU.  It was a funny process because originally I wasn't sure about anything...where I wanted to work, or what specialty I wanted...but after I interviewed and got to talk to the nurse manager I just had complete clarity that the PICU at UMMC was exactly where God wanted me to be.  So Lew and I are very excited about it.  I will start in February.  

I only have 2 more days of class, where did the time go!  I have two more days and 2 more exams then I'm done.  Then the month of January will be time to relax and prepare for the boards (although from what I hear...those 2 don't really go together!) But I will attempt to relax some when I can.

I have a few Thanksgiving recipes I wanted to post this week...those will be coming soon!

Monday, November 12, 2007

To My Long Lost Friend

Dear Warm Weather,

I haven't seen you around in a while. To be honest, I miss you. In October we had this talk, and I thoughts things were going to change. You gave me the impression that you were going to be around for a while. This year was supposed to be different, I know that every year you leave to make way for fall and winter, but I like you better, I've always liked you better.

Please don't mistake my glances into the closet at sweaters as a secret desire for you to away. Just because I find fleece comfortable does not mean that I wanted you to go away.

I thought we had something special going, I like being warm and you like creating high temperatures. Some people may try to put you down and accuse you of something called, "global warming," but you don't have to listen to them. They're all just haters. Warm weather, everyone loves you. You're so bright people have to wear shades around you!

Warm weather, there might have been times I sat inside in the AC, but please know that I never took you for granted. Where you ever you go warm weather, whatever you do, I will be right here waiting for you. You may leave me for a season, but I will be here, enduring the cold, waiting for you to come back.

Love,
Lew

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My quick recap...

I'm back. I had so much fun with my sister's family and miss them already! But I am happy to be back with my love ;) My sister and her husband have a lot going on with moving into their new home, a newborn, and a toddler...but they amaze me. With all that they had going on I felt like I was home with them! I will do a more in depth post with more pictures sometime soon, but here is a really quick video to recap with pictures I took during my time. They are mostly pictures of my new niece Naomi Joy..as well as pictures of Isaiah and a few from the pumpkin patch.
Here they are: (the pictures do repeat a few times throughout, but only to allow the song to finish)

video

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

who says all mergers turn out bad...

Mark it down, on the seven month and five day mark I was awarded my first performance based salary increase at my job.

It's crazy to think that with the merger there were a lot of people anxious about their future with the company. With all of the rumors, there were a couple of times when I felt anxious. My department made the team and with the reorganization that followed there was a budget increase. Needless to say, I was definitely shocked when my boss came to me today and told me that he got approval from HR to use part of the budget increase to increase my salary because of my hard work and contributions to the team. Oh yeah buddy!

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." James 1:17

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A few thoughts....

Just wanted to post once before I head out to NC to visit my sisters family (can't wait to see my new little niece Naomi!!)

Lew already posted this, but I wanted to thank everyone for your prayers about school! I completed OB and did better than I expected. This class was one of the most challenging yet and I am in some ways happy to be done ;) On another note I am now working my way through leadership/management and pediatrics. This class already seems like its going to be a little bit simpler than the last so I am glad that I chose to take this one second. It's really hard to believe that after December 17th I will be done! We have a pinning ceremony following that and then it's on the the boards! If you guys can continue to pray for the job search. So far I have been contacted by John Hopkins and University of Maryland Medical Center, both of which would be "first" choices for me. I am hoping to get a position in the Pediatric intensive care unit, so please pray God would continue to open doors for me.


On another note please pray for the people in San Diego, specifically our sister church in San Diego. My sister-in-law's family have been evacuated along with most of the members of their church. Please pray for them as they seek to encourage and care for each other as well as care for those around them. You can get updates on Rachel's father's blog.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Life is good

Free pizza day at work
+
Free wing stop tonight with other godly singles care group leaders
=
A very happy Lew


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Laura just took her last final and did very well
+
Laura will soon have an interview at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the pediatrics department
=
A very happy Laura

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I used to like reading the Dilbert comic strip and found some amusement from it. Now I LOVE reading the dilbert comic strip and am greatly amused by it as I wonder how the author knows my co-workers.

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Speaking of comic strips, there a new biography on Charles Schultz that sounds very interesting.

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If you haven't bought the new Shane & Shane CD, buy it now. Without a doubt one of the best CD's that I have heard in a long while. There are so many songs that are just amazing, one of my favorites is "Vision of You"

Come meet us, King Jesus.
Oh wind of change blow through this temple.
Sweet spirit of God, come and mend our hearts.
For all we have are songs. Unless you come.

Awaken what's inside of me.
Tune my heart to all You are in me.
Even though you're here, God come.
May the vision of You be the death of me.
and even though You've given everything.
Jesus come!

Come free us, King Jesus.
Its the only way that freedom is given.
From you and you alone in the work You've already done.
All we have are songs, unless You come.

Awaken what's inside of me.
Tune my heart to all You are in me.
Even though you're here, God come.
May the vision of You be the death of me.
and even though You've given everything.
Jesus come!

Here we are, Lord, in this place.
Crying out for Your embrace.
To hear Your voice more than songs.

Awaken what's inside of me.
Tune my heart to all You are in me.
Even though you're here, God come.
May the vision of You be the death of me.
and even though You've given everything.
Jesus come!


Another great song on that CD is Psalm 62. So honest and filled with truth.

He's the only one strong enough to lean my heaviness against.
The weight of all my sin falling on a rock.
Leaning on a fortress.
Oh the wall of God.
He won't move.

On God I rest my salvation.
My fortress shall not be shaken.
My mighty rock and my glorious.
I lay my head upon His chest.

Oh I am calling out.
Oh my soul, oh my stubborn soul.
Won't you wait on Him.
Wait in the guilt. Even in your fear.
Oh your God is here to lean on.
He won't move.

He has spoken. Hear his voice:
"I have come for the broken."
So all ye weary come and rest.

On God I rest my salvation.
My fortress shall not be shaken.
My mighty rock and my glorious.
I lay my head upon His chest.
Why am I telling you all of these lyrics? Just go out and buy the CD now!

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Definitely more to tell, but why talk about life when you can live it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sweet Little Naomi...

Hannah and Naomi are home now and doing very well ;)

Here is the beautiful girl:






Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Welcome little one...


Let the "girliness" begin!

My sister Hannah delivered her healthy baby girl today at 4:12 pm.

Welcome to the world Naomi Swetland 6 pounds 10 ounces;)
(Born after only 8 hours of labor and 2 pushes I must add!)

Mother and baby are doing fantastic! Pictures coming soon...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Happy Fall...

I love EVERYTHING about fall ;) It is most definitely my favorite season of them all. I also love the food in fall. So even though the weather has been interesting for this time of year (too hot for October!) I have been resorting to my fall menu...just because!

I'm finally getting to my recipes...I will post two out of four this time, and then post a few more as I am able.

Apple Cheddar Soup


This is a new one we tried recently...but it was soooo good I had to pass it on. I got the recipe from BHG. It is definitely my new favorite fall soup.

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 C finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Medium baking potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 C apple cider
  • 1/2 teas. dried thyme
  • 1/2 teas. salt
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 Medium cooking apple peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese shredded (1 Cup)
  • 1 apple freshly sliced for dipping (optional)
Directions:
In large pan cook onion in hot butter until tender (med.high heat) Stir in potatoes, cider, thyme, salt, and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil and reduce heat (med low). Simmer 15 minutes covered. Add chopped apples, simmer covered about 5 min. or until potato is tender. In small bowl mix milk and flour. Stir into soup. Slowly add cheese, whisking into soup until cheese is melted. Divide into soup dishes and top with sliced apple.

YUM!



Pork and Squash Stew

I posted this one once before...but I'm gonna post it again, it's one of our favorites!!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Pound Pork Shoulder
  • 3 tbsp. Flour
  • 4 teas. Oil divided (I used Canola)
  • 3 C coarsely chopped onion
  • 2 1/4 C sliced carrot
  • 1/2 teas. dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teas. salt
  • 1/4 teas. pepper
  • 1 (12 oz) can of beer
  • 2 cups peeled cubed butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 2 teas. chopped fresh parsley
Directions
Trim fat from pork, cut into cubes. Set aside. Place flour in ziplock plastic bag. Add pork, shake to coat. Discard flour. Heat 2 teas. oil in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Brown pork on all sides (about 8 minutes), then remove and set aside. Add remaining 2 teas. oil to pan, add onion and carrot; saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add pork, beer, rosemary, salt, and pepper to skillet. Bring to boil; cover, reduce and simmer 30 minutes. Add squash; cover simmer 25 more minutes until squash is tender. Sprinkle with parsley.

We usually serve over Risotto or you can just serve over plain rice...or by itself ;)

You can also substitute the pork for Beef cubes if you'd like.

Oh and I need to tag someone right?
The rules:
1. Let others know who tagged you (Hannah)
2. Start with 4 recipes you especially like
3. Tag 4 other people and notify them that they have been tagged:
Beka, Mama (yes mom you can do this!), Renee, and Cherai
4. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 4 recipes.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Butlers Orchard

I had the opportunity to go pick apples and raspberries with my sister-in-law Priscila and my friend Deanna. Their kids are sooo cute. It provided many opportunities for taking pictures ;)

Here are a few:



Cute little Bryan was mesmerized by Gianna..it was quite cute!



Little Gianna trying to get some berries


I love this picture of the two of them!



Deanna and Bryan picking berries



Yum...apparently his fist was quite tasty!