Monday, January 29, 2007

Weekend day trip

This weekend Lew and decided to take a day trip to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia. We had such a good time and it ended up being such a pretty day outside so we had a lot of fun exploring good old Jefferson's plantation. We would definitely recommend visiting, however, after our day trip we decided next time we would probably make it an overnight trip because the drive was a little over 3 hours both ways! Here are some pictures...

Jefferson's grave

Lew and I in front of the garden

A view of the garden which was incredible! There were hills all around the garden and a rail which also had a drop off along the edges of the garden. It felt like you were on top of this huge mountain looking around at just scenery...very nice

A view of his home

Lew and I in front of this fireplace that was still standing after 200 years...I think the steel rod thingy's are helping it to stand now though ;)

Still in the garden

Another view of Jefferson's house

Lew in front of the garden

This was a little garden gazebo that had windows on all four sides from top to bottom. It was so pretty and allowed you to see the garden from all angles.

More views of the garden

The view from the garden ;)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Meet Sid...

This is my friend Sid and his greyhound Slick. Some of you guys may know about him already, but for those of you who don't I will share a little bit of his story. I have been working as a personal assistant on the side now for people with disabilities for the last year while finishing nursing school. Everytime I finish one position (for one reason or another) God always provides another one...usually very quickly. Well as soon as we moved to Woodbine I had to end my position with my good friend Nadia because we were too far away from her home. I hadn't really lined up any other work, trusting that God would either provide more work for me closer to our new home or provide a new job for Lew. Well it wasn't even a week after we moved into our basement apartment in the Hendrick's home when Mrs. Hendricks told me about a family that lives a mile down the street who is looking for someone to help them a few days a week (Sid's family). The story is somewhat sad and sobering but I share it hoping that it encourages you: Sid has been an FBI agent for over 20 years. He even had a book written about him called Dr. Snow which was written after a huge cocaine bust that he led in the 80's. He was (and still is) a very well known and respected agent in the FBI, however at the age of 54 had to make the decision to retire early. Only 6 years ago he began to develop a neurological disorder that is still a mystery to numerous specialists all over the world. It begain with just forgetting things and soon became an inability to understand numbers and letters, difficulty getting out his words, and a slow loss of his vision. Now he is still declining and day by day can have a very hard time with the simplest tasks. His brain has a very difficult time making connections and sometimes he will do things like forget to close the door, go out without a coat or walk into a door. His wife (who is also an FBI agent) is a Christian woman who really lives out keeping her vows by loving her husband "in good times and bad, and in sickness and health". She now works full time as an FBI agent to provide for their family (which includes their 14 year old twin girls) and faithfully and unconditionally loves and cares for her husband. Now I have the honor to spend my 2 days off of school during the week with Sid while his wife is at work and help him with certain tasks and make sure he is safe. It has been such a rewarding position for me. Sid, despite such frustrating and uncontrolable circumstances, is one of the most joyful people I know! He is a pleasure to be around and is always so grateful for help! God is so good to have provided me an open door to this family and I consider it a joy to serve them in this way! It is so neat to see the evidence of God's grace in them as I watch a man perservere in suffering....and a women who obeys God's commandments for loving and serving her husband.

The picture above is Sid walking Slick....he has 3 dogs total and goes for a walk just about every 2 hours sometimes's def. been a good workout for me ;)

On another note...
Since school started and I started working for Sid I am having to simplify my meals on certain nights. So tonight Lew and I tried a recipe from my Cookinglight Superfast Supper's book and it turned out soooo yummy and was so easy! It was Chicken with Creamy Dijon Sauce. And the best part was we cut up the leftover chicken and just mixed it in with the leftover sauce and added a little extra light mayo and had chicken salad for lunch tomorrow ;) Worked out great!

4 (4oz.) boneless Chicken breasts (pounded down to 1/2 inch thickness)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 cup light mayo
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary

Preheat broiler

Coat chicken with olive oil sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Broil on broil pain 5 min. each side.

Combine mayo and remaining ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve sauce over chicken.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A little out of season spice...

So I was cleaning out and organizing my canned goods today and found a big old can of pumpkin that I had from last Thanksgiving....and I couldn't help but use it! I had this great recipe that I used last year for pumpkin bread that is really moist and has a great flavor, so I made a loaf of bread and a dozen muffins. So for those of you who are reminiscing the days of Autumn this one's for you ;)

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs (I used substitute)
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 cups white sugar (I used 2 1/2 c splenda)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Parents for a night

This weekend was one of our biggest (and funnest) adventures as newlyweds. We had the opportunity to be parents for a night as we watched our niece Gianna Saturday night through Sunday morning. It was so much fun to watch her, and ended up being Baby 101 for Lew. Since Lew really didn't have any experience with babies I decided to let him try to do as much as he could so he could learn a little bit about taking care of a baby. It was so sweet to watch him with Gianna. He was very gentle and did such a good job with all the little tasks I gave him. See the pictures below which capture all of his new learning experiences.

Learning how to spoon feed...
Yup that is sweet potatoes smeared across her little face ;) Lew had a hard job because every time he would feed her a spoon full she would attempt to put her thumb in her mouth which made quite a mess!

A closer up picture of her sweet potatoed face ;)

Learning how to play with her...

He did such a good job of keeping her busy and even tried to use funny voices to get her attention! Worked like a charm.

Learning how to bottle feed...

Here he is...Mr. "Dad", doesn't he look so official with that burp rag on his shoulder? ;)

Learning how to burp her...
In fact Lew mastered this one so well that when he heard her wake up crying in the middle of the night he asked me "Do you want me to go burp her?" He really had this one down.

Me and Gianna getting ready to leave for Church

Gianna puckering up for the camera

Here is Sam and Pri's other baby Daisy. She is a pitbull and as sweet as can be! She was very well behaved and made caring for 2 babies seem like nothing ;)

So yes, we enjoyed our parenthood trial, but for those who are wondering we are hoping to wait at least 2-3 years to have our own little it will be a little while before there are any Laura-Lew's running around. In the meantime any parents out there who would like us to be parents for the night for you just let us know ;) It's kinda fun because you can enjoy them for the night and then go right back to normal life the next day!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wedding pictures...finally!

At last we got our wedding photos! So here are a some of them to sum up our day ;) Unfortunately because of the way I posted them the order of the day is backwards and starts at the end. So if you want to look at them in order you can start at the bottom of the post.
Enjoy ;) (To see the pictures better you can blow them up by clicking on them..I think!)

After the reception before we leave the church

Outside of our Church

Isaiah with Mommy and Aunt Laura (Lewis!)

Our nephew Isaiah and niece Gianna with their parents

The Matron of Honor and Best Man with Lew and I after their toast


Our wedding party says hello

Our two "armies" (as the photographer called them)

Me with the guys

Both sets of parents

The Lewis family

The Ellis Family

The Ellis siblings

Lew's dance with his Mother to "What a Wonderful World"

My dance with my Dad to "Find Your Wings"

Our first dance

Cake Cutting ceremony

We really had no idea how to cut the cake! It was pretty funny, we just looked at it like...uhhh....and then finally we just did our best. The cake was more like a blob on our plate but hey mission accomplished ;)

Being announced as the Lewis' for the first time

Immediately after our ceremony...enjoying our first moments as a married couple

The Recessional

First kiss as man and wife

Saying our vows (which Lew had written)

Lighting our unity candle

This was right after the unity candle was lit...we had a nice long (funny) conversation on stage while our song played. We had so much catching up to do from that morning ;)

This is the view of the stage during worship

Right after my Father gave me away

This picture makes me laugh because of the look on Lew's face. He was sooooo happy and you could see it all over his face for the entire day!

My Dad and I making our way down the isle to "Grace Flows Down" by Watermark

Here is Lew watching me walk down the isle....look at his sweet! I remember as I was walking down feeling so nervous but then as soon as my eyes met his and I saw his big smile I felt so happy and full of peace!

Lew with his Best Man (my brother Jeremy)

Lew with his brother Brian...don't they look so happy!

My Sweetie Pie before the ceremony began

The Groomsman.....jumping for joy?

My "army" of ladies

Me and Daddy ;)

Me before the ceremony...I was really nervous! In some of the pictures you can see it in my eyes...That lasted until right before the ceremony and then as soon as we made our way down the isle I was at perfect peace.

My bridal party in the "green room" right before the ceremony