Civil War Remembrance Weekend at Greenfield Village

We made our first trip to Greenfield Village in Detroit for the Civil War Remembrance Weekend.  “In Greenfield Village, you can ride in a genuine Model T or “pull” glass with world-class artisans; you can watch 1867 baseball or ride a train with a 19th-century steam engine. It’s a place where you can choose your lunch from an 1850s menu or spend a quiet moment pondering the home and workshop where the Wright brothers invented the airplane.” (www.thehenryford.org/village)  We spent most of our time wandering through Civil War reenactments in tents and buildings.  My daughter and I made sewed a rosette that showed whether we supported the Union or Confederacy and we put together dried flowers to carry with us for when you smell something unpleasant.

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Baby animal/Noah’s ark themed Baby Shower

I “hosted” a baby animal and Noah’s ark themed baby shower for my sister-in-law and so I got to bake and craft to my heart’s content!  I love doing event planning but I stress my family out in the process.  Here is some of what I came up with for this fun theme:

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I did two different banners for the event using supplies from Michael’s.  I made a baby banner for above the food table with some cute animal toys and books i already had as decor.  Then I hung a “mama to be” banner behind a rocker where she was opening her gifts.  We used balloons attached to stuffed animals for table centerpieces.

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http://www.sassysanctuary.com/2012/04/babee-shower-week-how-to-make-diaper.html

I also made a diaper cake which doubled as a decoration and gift with items that were on her registry.  I posted a link to the method I used for rolling the diapers together.  I had some trouble with my pans being to close to the same size so my two top tiers are almost the same size.  I had the guests bring books instead of cards so she has some baby books to start her collection.

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http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2013/10/mini-turtle-cheesecakes.html

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http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/05/raspberry-swirled-cheesecake-cupcakes

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http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/oreo-cookies-cream-cheesecakes/

The mama-to-be’s favorite dessert is cheesecake so I made three different types of mini cheesecakes:  turtle cheesecake with oreo crust, raspberry swirl with graham cracker crust and cookies and cream with oreo crust, of course.  This was my first attempt at the raspberry swirl and turtle cheesecake so I was happy they turned out!  We handed out bags of animal crackers as a favor and we played a baby animal game and two other generic baby shower games.

Bowers School Farm

My daughter missed her first school field trip to the orchard in the fall of last year due to being sick.  Bowers School Farm was her spring field trip with Woodside Bible Church preschool in April of this year.  I was hoping we would have a pleasant spring day but instead it was one of the coldest days of April and required winter coats.  We still had a great time touring their barns and property.  My daughter got to brush and comb a pony.  She declined the opportunity to milk a goat.  We enjoyed meeting many other barnyard friends!

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Easter traditions

Since I am behind on my blog, this post will seem a little out of season but I wanted to share some of our Easter traditions we have begun with our family of four.  We like to spend a day focused on the reason we celebrate Easter (that God sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross to save the world from sin so that we might have everlasting life with Him.  Jesus rising from the dead on the third day is such a joyous reason for celebration!) but we also want to celebrate Easter with some of the nonreligious traditions like Easter baskets and coloring eggs!

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Easter baskets this year consisted of a book, stuffed animal, and some treats.  We decided last year that William needed a beach bucket so we used that for his Easter basket.  I couldn’t find an Easter basket I liked for him this year so we used the bucket again.

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Coloring Easter eggs is such a fun, creative time for the family!  We enjoy trying different types of decorations out like wraps, crayons, dye, and stickers!

 

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There must be food on holidays but we try on Easter Sunday for our food to have some sort of significance.  This year, Scott made an Empty tomb with the stone rolled away out of toast and a fried egg.

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This food as far as I know has no religious significance but I loved a reason to make deviled eggs!  There were only four of us to eat them so I did not make a full plateful.

Retreat on Lake Huron

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I spent two nights at a lake shore cottage in Port Sanilac, MI for a women’s retreat with my missional community.  We cooked and ate meals together, worshiped together, and studied God’s Word!  I really enjoyed sharing that time together and getting to know some of them on a deeper level.  Both mornings, I woke up before the sun came up and so I walked on the beach and took photographs of the sunrise.  I love that peaceful time of day especially when I am not surrounded by the noise of the city!

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We took a walk around the town of Port Sanilac before we headed out on Sunday.  There is an old light house that was commissioned in the 1800’s.  It does not appear to be in use anymore but was an interesting building.

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Johnny Noodle King

In March, we visited a restaurant in Detroit that was highly recommended by a coworker for their ramen noodle bowls and unique flavors!  Johnny Noodle King is a Japanese inspired restaurant focused on noodles with an influence from other global cuisine.  This building used to be Johnny’s Ham King Diner so they paid homage to the history of the building in naming this restaurant.  We started off our meal with an exciting torched mackerel (torched at our table).  It reminded me of eating sushi. There were ten different bowls of ramen to choose from.  The ramen we chose was Shoyu and although we enjoyed it, it was a little too different for me to order again.  I would go back again to try some other Ramen dishes and try another side.  I got hot tea to drink and Scott got nonalcoholic Ginger Beer.

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Sushi roll

Scott and I have discovered our favorite homemade sushi roll combination. It is quite simple and not too expensive so it allows me to indulge in one of my favorite foods more often. Scott has more patience with it than I do but I am learning.

Ingredients:

Homemade Sushi rice
(http://allrecipes.com/recipe/99211/perfect-sushi-rice/)
*1 1/2 c jasmine extra fancy rice (or short grain rice)
*2 c water
*1/3 c rice vinegar
*2 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
*3 T sugar
*3/4 tsp salt

Roasted Seaweed Sheets (Nori)
Imitation crab legs (sliced in half)
Cream cheese (cut into thin slices and cute in half)
Cucumber (cut off ends and cut into long thin slices)
Avocado (cut in half, remove seed and cut into thin slices)

Wasabi Paste
Pickled Ginger
Soy sauce

Tools: Bamboo Sushi Mat, rice paddle, chopsticks (optional)

Sushi Rice Instructions
1. Rinse the rice in a strainer or colander until the water runs clear. Combine with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Rice should be tender and water should be absorbed. Cool until cool enough to handle.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, oil, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Cool, then stir into the cooked rice. When you pour this in to the rice it will seem very wet. Keep stirring and the rice will dry as it cools.

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Sushi Roll Instructions
1. Place a sheet of Sushi Nori (rough side up) onto the sushi mat (handle nori with dry hands). Spread rice evenly over the nori and leave a 1 inch space at the edge of the nori (handle rice with wet hands). *We like to keep a small bowl of water and towel nearby.

2. Place 1/2 crab leg, 1 piece of cream cheese, cucumber, and avocado.

3. Place your thumbs on the back of the mat and begin rolling away from you. Be sure to support the fillings with the rest of your fingers.

4. Roll sushi until the edge of the nori is placed under the sushi.

5. Shape the roll by pressing lightly with both hands.

6. Remove the sushi mat and slice sushi roll into six to eight pieces.

Serve with a small amount of wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger.IMG_5945

In the glass is one of my favorite healthier drinks (Ocean Spray sparkling Blueberry Pomegranate juice).