Sunday, June 22, 2014


Happy Birthday to my Honey!

We celebrated by having a delicious lunch with filet mignon roast with gorgonzola sauce, the best potatoes ever, homemade bread and Altano Douro Reserva 2006.  Sandi joined us for lunch and to watch the World Cup.  She also baked Matt his favorite dessert, apple pie.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Preparing for the Exam...

God has been providing for me this past year in many different ways  as I prepare for my level 2 somm exam which I hope to take in the next couple of months.  I started teaching wine classes at work this year which has been scary and great all at the same time.  I have also been trying to learn about cocktails by making some of the most classic ones.  I have been reading tons of books and making an endless amount flashcards and will also begin practicing service too very soon.  But the most fun has to be blind tasting with my friend Tali.  We met on the International Guild of Sommeliers website when I posted a thread about how I was looking for a study partner.  She just took her level 1 exam last winter and is also studying for level two. We have been meeting once a week to taste together and it  has been very helpful and fun. 
Teaching a class at work

making my first cocktail

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bread Baking Brings Friends Together

Last month I taught a bread baking class in my home to some ladies from my church.  We baked 3 loaves together; a white sandwich loaf, a loaf swirled with pesto and roasted red peppers and a crusty artisan loaf.  Here are a few pics of us at the end of the night hanging out while the bread bakes and then eating it fresh from the oven.  Great fun!

The Rottmans used the bread class as an excuse to come down from Phoenix and stay with us for the weekend. We were able to have an early dinner with the Rotts and Janks before the Janks had to head back down to Mexico.

First Official Pizza Dinner

Last month we had our first official pizza dinner at the oven.  We invited our good friends the Kruis family and the Dunlap family.  We baked 6 pizzas and after dinner baked a batch of bread as well.  Here are some pics from this historic wood fired oven event.
Dana building pizza
Matt loading pizza
Fig & Gorgonzola pizza

Betsy and Shelly
Nick, Silas, Caleb & Phil
Matt removing the coals for bread baking        

breads baking

finished breads

Sandi cries, "FREEDOM!" upon Retiring

A few weeks ago Matt's Mom hit a major milestone in her life: RETIREMENT!  We are very happy for her and prepared her a special dinner with her favorite meal from El Corral.  I forgot to take a picture when we were eating but here is the menu:

Sandi’s Retirement Celebration Meal

Baked Ricotta
Bubbles, Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve Champagne

Main Course
 House Salad
Tamale Pie
Filet Mignon
Flichman Dedicado Red, Mendoza, Argentina

Brownies a la mode

We are proud of you Mom!


She now plans to spend her days doing her most favorite thing... sewing!

Congratulations McMom!!

Hermosillo Weekend

We recently took a lightning trip down to see the Janks in Hermosilllo before the weather there turns brutal.  It is normal for them to be significantly hotter and more humid than Tucson so we had to go before May.  We took it easy there- just hanging out, eating, playing games, shopping for and drinking wine.  We of course had our traditional meal of steak, potatoes, bread and wine.  We bought amazing Ribeyes from the butcher and Ryan treated us to one of the best wines of Mexico, Chateau Camou, which is a Bordeaux blend.  Espactacular (as Rayn would say)!  We also had breakfast at a really cute little tradtional Mexican restaurant downtown where I had chorizo with eggs, beans and tortillas.  Delisioso!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It is Finished!

Matt has been working on a big project in our backyard for a couple of months now.  He finished up this weekend just in time for Easter.  Since Sandi just had knee surgery we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to host the holiday meal at our house.  So we had a pizza party for Easter... that is a wood fired pizza party in our new oven!  I can't believe it is finally finished.  It took a long time and it was a huge amount of work which Matt did all by himself.  The oven is gorgeous and being such a breadophile I can't believe we have our own wood fired oven!  Matt has made a lot of things but this one definitely takes the cake.  THANKS, HONEY!!!

We have made pizza three times now and have figured out what it takes to make it just right.  Today was our first go at bread.  It baked in about 25 minutes and turned out pretty good.

Monday, March 31, 2014

End of Winter Visitors

Since Minnesota hogged up all the winter this year we were left with nothing but sunshine and warm temps here in Tucson.  So warm in fact that our three raised garden beds produced very little this season.

Minnesota tried to make up for this by sending us some fun visitors, Jane and Isaac, who were here for 4 days basking in the Tucson sun.  They enjoyed hiking, biking, and driving up Mt. Lemon. Jane also got to experience her first wine from Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico which she loved!

12 years!

Matt and I celebrated our 12th anniversary last weekend!
Of course we celebrated with steak and our best bottle of wine, Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley, 2007 vintage.  Awesome.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ligonier Ministries National Conference 2014

We are back from yet another Ligonier National Conference, my 10th!  I love the conference so much and was so sad when it was over this year.  The conference lectures have just been posted on for free streaming for a  couple of weeks.  They are all worth listening to but my favorites this year were:

The World the Flesh and the Devil by Voddie Bacham 

Do Not Love the World by Robert Godfrey.

The Q & A sessions were also very good and at times quite lively!  In the first Q&A session RC answered the question I submitted having to do with the view many of my libertarian Christian friends hold, namely that government should not be involved in marriage.  RC had a very strong opinion on this matter.  You can here this question asked and answered at 14:13 minutes into the first Q&A session.

The bookstore was filled with wonderful books again this year and here is what we bought.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Conference Draws Nigh!

It's that time of year again, for the Ligonier Ministries National Conference- yay!

This will be my 10th year going- God is so good!!  Here is this year's speaking schedule- can't wait!

Planning the Reuninon

Recenlty Ben was in Arizona for work so we headed up to Phoenix to have dinner with him and the Rottmans at their casa.  What a fun night!  We started planning our first annual Tucson Family Reunion which we hope to hold this summer in Albuquerque.  Can't wait!

A Long Overdue "Happy New Year!"

We rang in the New Year with a bunch of friends over for a "thrift store party" where everyone had to come garbed in thrift store attire.  We partook  in snacks, drinks and hookah before letting off some Chinese lanterns at midnight.  They were so beautiful but very nerve racking as some of them crashed into neighboring yards while still on fire- yikes!  Thankfully no fires were started!  Here are some pics from the evening...

We then enjoyed a delicious steak dinner and a bottle of La Papaterie (St. Emilion) with the Janks on New Year's Day.