Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Toma mate y avivate

Como veran la familia Spitzberg (Dave y yo) estamos continuando una tradicion bien argenta: tomar mate mientras manejamos. El sabado pasado antes de irnos a la casa del papa de Dave para festejar el Dia de Accion de Gracia, Dave sugerio que llevaramos el mate en el camino (el papa vive a una hora y media). Resulta que se me esta convirtiendo en todo un Argentino, hace asado, toma mate y dice: "Como te va?, Yo, todo piola!"

Mariana sin maquillaje... ahhhhhh!!
Asi que desde ahora en mas, en cada viaje de media a larga distancia el mate viene con nosotros!! Pero no solamente tomamos el mate asi no mas!! No senor! Tambien compramos unos bizochitos de grasa 9 de Oro y los dulces Don Satur!! Que tul?
Bueno, esto es todo por ahora en el comentario nacionalista del mes!! Ya tendremos mas anuncios argentos desde Olney, Maryland.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Failures and Successes in Bakery

So, it's true! I am not a baker! It's not in my pool gene, I guess. I can cook, but bake, not so much. As you probably know from my husband's previous blog, I almost poisoned my family with a plastic-spatula cheesecake! Some of you may wonder, how did the spatula ended in the mix? Pretty simple: take ginger snaps, butter and scrape the sides of the food processor with the spatula, turn on the processor and boila! You have a spatula cheesecake!
I'm glad to report that I could still provide with a dessert that didn't send people to the ER on Thanksgiving! The Joy of Hospitality (book) came to the rescue in the shape of a "freezy pumpkin pie" (I owe you one Heather Castro!). This pie was a piece of cake (Ha!). No cooking, no making the mix, and, most important, not making the crust!! Oh, and they are very tasty! I will post the recipes some other time....

But, I was not going to let my lack of baking experience, or my pity party (that I thoroughly enjoyed until corrected by Dave) dictate my future on cheesecake making!! God was very kind in that we got to celebrate two Thanksgivings! On Saturday we celebrated Thanksgiving with Dave's dad, Virginia, and the DC Spitzbergs (Ed, Neesham & Beemer).
So, on Friday I tried to make the pumpkin cheesecake again, and I'm happy to report that this time I was successful and I did not include plastic utensils in the mix!! That's good to know, right family? Well, the cheesecake was very yummy (thanks Rachel Ray!) and I will also post that recipe some time. I do have to warm everyone: it's very time consuming, but worth it.

Finally, I learned some lessons from my baking extravaganza:
  1. Plastic spatulas against sharp objects get cut
  2. The food processor can process food and other materials
  3. This one is crucial: you have to read the whole recipe before starting! As I was working on cheesecake numero dos, I read: "introduce spring-form pan in roasting pan, cover with boiling water...." I thought: "A roasting pan? Oh, oh! I don't own a roasting pan!" Mind you by then there was no turning back, the mix was finally done, and so was the crust! Again, God provided in the shape of a kind landlord who found a roasting pan and lent it to me
  4. Follow instructions. Period. So, like I said I cook but mainly it's "a ojo" (that stands for I-don't-measure-anything-just-add-ingredients-and-test). But, with baking it doesn't work like that! So, if the recipe reads: "touch the cake in the middle and sides" it does not mean: "insert a knife and when it cools off it will break in the middle!"
OK, I think that's if for now in the baking world. For those of you who are baking queens (or kings) my apologies for what I just put you through. And for those who are baking-deficient like me, I say: see, there are people who are more clueless than you!
Here are some pics from the second Thanksgiving celebration.

Check out the garganchuan turkey!!

This is the cheesecake. Notice the nice cut in the middle!

Dave braved the cold a grilled some lamb chomps.
Notice Ed's face of: "why am I here?"

Beemer getting ready for the season!
He did say he'd rather be in his giraffe suit though! How un-festive Beem!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Update ...

It has been a great thanksgiving holiday for Mari and myself. We have eaten too much but have enjoyed spending time together and with my Mom, Brother, and Sister-In-Law. God has been kind to give us such a fun family. I'll post some pictures now and hopefully we'll give a longer update soon.

Mari & I had the joy of going to the International Dinner at Church. Gene organized the event & did a great job.
I like being around drums and making funny signs w/ my hands.
This is my wife before she tried to make pumpkin swirl cheesecake for Thanksgiving dessert.

This is the spatula after Mari did some creative baking. She ended up making a sweet pumpkin pie instead of cheesecake. It was GREAT!
Thanksgiving table @ my Mom's.
Ed & Dave successfully change the battery in my Mom's carbon dioxide detector. It was quite an event.
The happy family!
The next day Mari wanted to go shopping. So we went to the Christian Family Bookstore @ 7am.
Happy Shopping!

After our first stop, we went to Target & Ann Taylor Loft. Then it was off to Bed, Bath, & Beyond. My Mom gave Mari money to buy a new pillow ... here it is. Hopefully this will help her neck.
Mari will post soon w/ some cooking updates. If you're reading this, thanks for taking time to check out our pictures. Have a great day!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Forgetful Friends

Last Saturday I got together with some friends for a little reunion. A few years ago we spent a great vacation in Florida and we now try to keep each other updated in what's going on in our lives by doing these reunions. I love these times!

One thing that I noticed was how each time we get together we always end up talking about how God is showing us how much we need Him in our different "seasons" of life. Single, dating, married, pregnant, no matter where God has us, there is always a temptation to want to find our satisfaction in things, people, etc. But, we always remind each other that the Only One who can fully satisfy is Him. He is our portion! God wants our all, and to be our all! One of the girls was saying how it'd be so much easier to know what God's plan for her life was, and another wisely answered that if she'd know then she wouldn't have to trust God. So true! God is not interested in getting our partial trust, and nor is He interested in being our partial portion. I read the following in Morning and Evening and it reminded me about our conversation:

"The Lord is my portion, saith my soul"
Lamentations 3:24

"It is not 'The Lord is partly my portion', nor 'The Lord is in my portion'; but He Himself makes us the sum total of my soul's inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we posses and desire. The Lord is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Jehovah Himself. He has chosen us for His portion, and we have chosen Hims for ours.... The Lord is our all-sufficient portion. God fills Himself; and if God is all-sufficient in Himself, He must be all-sufficient for us. It is not easy to satisfy man's desires...But all that we can wish for is to be found in our divine portion, so that we ask, 'Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.'"

I pray that God continues to use friends like these to remind me of His truths. Girls, thank you for the way you always point me to our Savior and His sweet promises!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mari's 30th Birthday Slideshow

Here is the slideshow I made for Mari's party. It turned out great. The only problem I had was with the letters of encouragement (which many of her friends and family wrote for her). For some reason when I burned the DVD, the first word of each line was cut off. Mari still liked the video and we thought for the purpose of the blog we would just use the pictures. Thank you very much to those who wrote letters to Mari and to those of you who wrote letters to her in your hearts.

Este es el video que me hizo Dave para celebrar mi cumple. Incluyo fotos de mi familia, mi visita a Argentina, la otra cuando fuimos juntos y fotos de aca en los EEUU. Espero que les guste.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Fiesta Sorpresa!!

So, as most of you probably know I'm from Argentina. I've been living here for close to 9 years, but all my family is still back home. My wonderful mom, sisters, brother-in-law and sweet nieces and nephew are still in Buenos Aires. One of the biggest reasons why we liked the blog idea is to keep them informed about what we are up to. Obviously, that means posting in Spanish every now and then so that may understand! So, here is your opportunity to practice your Espanol!!!

El sabado 3 de Noviembre mi querido marido me hizo una fiesta sorpresa para festejar mis 30 primaveras!! Que dulce!! Sin que yo supiera organizo una fiesta en la que participaron mis amigos de la iglesia y trabajo y me trajo un poco de mi familia desde Argentina!! Bueno, no pudo traerlos en vivo y directo pero le pidio a una amiga mia que habla espanol (Evy) que mandara un mail a mi sobrina Flopy y ella les pidio que me escribieran cartas y deseos de cumple!!

A Dave le encanta darme sorpresas y a veces no es muy exitoso!! Pero esta vez se paso! En realidad la mayor sorpresa fue cuando me pidio que nos casaramos!! Despues de esa, esta fiesta para festejar mis 30 es la mejor!!

Les quiero agradecer a mi mama, hermanas Nene y Tere, mi cuna (no tengo enie), mis sobrinas Jimena y Flor, y mi sobrino Matias por mandarme las cartas con deseos cumpleaneros!! Los quiero mil y los extrano otro tanto!! Son lo mas! No me aguanto las ganas de volver a verlos!! Aca un par de fotis mas que sacamos en la fiesta. Gracias por ser parte de mi celebracion!!

Mi maridito con mi torta!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Random Update

We had a great few days. A date night outside, and Mari's surprise birthday party. So far I'm 2/4 when I try to surprise Mari. No surprises in the near future. I'd like to get in the habit of telling Mari the truth instead of trying to hide things from her, like why she can't check my email.

Our date night outside on our patio.

Mari's cream of brocoli soup w/ crutons.
This is not an optical illusion, the steak fell inside of the grill.
Anyone want Dave to grill for them?

Since I put the steak in the grill, Friday was Chicken Out and the the first DVD of season 3 of 24.

Mari loves fall flowers, and taking pictures of them.
Some shots of the surprise party.

I asked Evy to email Flor (our niece) in Argentina to get the family to write an encouragement letter to Mari. Our friend Jeff Vega read the letters to her in Spanish.

Wild and crazy Mari w/ Juliana, Jessica, & Larissa.

Sherades to end the night.