Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wayfarers on, Baby.....

Whew! The birthday bash is now over, and I can take a moment to report to you that we celebrated Robert's 40th in grand, and totally tubular 1980's style! I had prayed about this party for months - asking that it would be fun, encouraging to Robert, and a recognition of his faithfulness in ministry all these years. It was all that and more. The Lord completely exceeded my hopes and expectations with this very special evening!
My sister, Melinda came up with my dad to help us celebrate - and also to celebrate my dad's 70th. (see below) Here we are with Kayla in our 80's attire - mini-skirts, legwarmers, leggings, and jellies.
Billy Idol showed up at the party (yes, Jonah truly bleached his hair for the occasion) -as well as Garth from Wayne's World, a few mulletmen in athletic gear, and this adorable cassette tape couple below - sweet friends Dan and Sarah.
Another highlight of the evening was watching Kayla and Cooper each perform a song on stage. They have been planning this for months, but I was skeptical about whether or not they would follow through in front of a crowd. They were FEARLESS! We forgot to load Kayla's song - Veggie Tales, "His Cheeseburger" on the computer, so she opted for a capella! (It happens to be Robert's favorite Veggie Tales song, which is not surprising since it is a spoof of an 80's love ballad.) She didn't miss a beat, and got a standing ovation.
Cooper performed "The Eye of the Tiger" on his electric guitar, and got much encouragement from the crowd - singing along and clapping. They truly amazed us, and it also made us realize how much they consider our church their family and support system. What a blessing.

The grand finale of the evening was a performance of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" dance. A small group from church took it upon themselves to learn the dance and perform it along with the video as a special birthday surprise. They did an awesome job - so awesome that Robert had them perform it again after our church service on Sunday morning so more folks could enjoy their hard work!
Patrick brought the house down with his monologue/skit - "Robert Krumrey, Age 80." He wore Robert's clothes, and imitated Robert's preaching by talking about Lord of the Rings, being from Texas, and his vision of multiplying church plants here in our area. He also pulled some similar sermon stunts like bashing a radio to demonstrate our brokenness, and throwing fall leaves around the room as an illustration of death. It was very funny, and a tribute all at the same time. And others also shared their thanks and encouragement with Robert at the microphone and around the room - a really wonderful time, and very thoughtful comments by all.
And then Ethan and Eric played "Happy Birthday" for Robert on guitar - 80's style. Ethan was actually playing the gift guitar and handed it to Robert after I shared about the many people who had been a part of the gift. Then Robert led us in singing "Let Everything That Has Breath Praise the Lord."

So many of you helped make this an amazing evening with your gifts, your prayers, your crazy costumes, cards, and encouraging words. Robert and I had dinner out last night, and he just kept expressing an amazement over the what the party meant to him and the way the Lord has blessed him and us through our many friends, and church family. He was humbled by the guitar and has been enjoying it as much as he can. I thank the Lord for this outpouring of generosity and love - and His answered prayers for a true celebration of the godly life of one of His own. Even in all of its silliness, the body of Christ was experienced in such a joyous way!

To see the rest of the photos, click the Flickr badge in the right side bar.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gluten Free Friday - Birthday Weekend

We are having quite the birthday weekend here at the Krum house. Robert turned 40 on Thursday, and my dad turned 70 today! They are almost exactly 30 years apart to the day. We had a big breakfast, a steak dinner at home, and his favorite chocolate cake for dessert (recipe below!) to celebrate Robert's day - just a warm up to his 1980's themed party on Saturday!
Today we have been celebrating my dad's 70th birthday. We went out for Mexican food for dinner(he wouldn't let me cook because I have come down with a nasty cold) and then had dessert at a quaint downtown inn - flourless chocolate torte.

Here's my dad with his new birthday toy from his four kids - an iPod touch. We had fun playing with it, drinking hot tea and coffee, and playing Apples to Apples in our own private dining room.

Happy Birthday to Grandad and Robert!

Here's the recipe for Robert's favorite chocolate cake. It comes from the Cook 'Em Horns cookbook and all I did was substitute flour to make it gluten free.

Texas Chocolate Cake

2 sticks butter
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 cup water
2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used rice, tapioca, and potato)
2 cups sugar
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Icing:
1 stick butter
4 Tbsp cocoa
6 Tbsp milk
1 box (16 oz) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Boil together butter, cocoa, and water. Sift together dry ingredients. Pour boiling mixture over dry ingredients, beating constantly. Stir in buttermilk, eggs, vanilla; mix well. Pour into greased 9X13 pan. Bake @ 400 degrees for 30 minute.

Icing: Boil together butter, cocoa, and milk. Remove from heat; add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until thick and spread over warm cake.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ironic

I have not been able to keep up with reading all of my favorite blogs, so I recently realized that Jenny had tagged me for a little bloggy game - to post the 6th photo out of the 6th folder from my computer. Well, this is it! Me, my kids, and two of their friends posing with the Red Sox World Series Trophys (or is that trophies?) from the past two years. This is ironic and a little sad, since the Red Sox lost their game last night and therefore WILL NOT get to play in the World Series this year. Massachusetts is in mourning today.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Gluten Free Friday - Matooke

Our homeschool group is studying geography this year. After each continent is studied for 3-6 weeks, we all gather for a time of reports and presentations. I say gather, because we did decide to split our growing-very-large-group. We are now two groups of 7 and 8 families. On report weeks we gather as a large group and the kids each do a special report on something they've learned about the particular continent. Our first continent to study was Africa, so the Krum children did a group project on the country of Uganda. Cooper created the middle section of this display board and shared general information about the country, Kayla reported on the animals and food of Uganda, and Kory discussed a political and humanitarian issue going on currently. We were, of course, inspired by my teacher and long time friend Kelly R. who sponsors several children in Uganda, and has traveled there the past two summers to visit them and give aid to the crisis of the IDP camps.
As part of Kayla's report on food of Uganda, we made a traditional dish called Matooke - (mah-toe-kee) which is a beef and plantain stew, and Ugali - which is a sort of cornbread. This is Kayla coating the cubed plantains with lemon juice. Plantains don't ripen as quick as bananas and have a more firm flesh. They ended up feeling/tasting like a potato in the finished stew dish.
My good friend Izckra and I served each of the kids a plate of Matooke and Ugali, as well as pineapple and mango which are native fruits to Uganda. Everyone seemed to enjoy the taste, and all of it was gluten free, so here's the recipe in case you want to be brave and go Ugnadan for dinner anytime soon!

Matooke

8-10 plantains
lemon juice
oil for sauteeing
1 onion, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, or 1 can whole tomatoes, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 - 1 tsp each - salt, coriander, and cayenne (smells sooooo good!)
2-3 pounds stew beef
4 cups GF beef broth

Place stew beef in covered baking dish and bake @ 300 degrees for 2 hours - until tender.

While beef cooks:

Peel plantains, cut into cubes, coat with lemon juice, and set aside

Heat oil in large pan. Saute onions, tomatoes, and garlic until tender. Add broth and spices - simmer.

Add beef to the broth mixture. Simmer 30 minutes.

Add cubed plantains to beef and broth and simmer together until plantains are tender.

Annual Cape Cod Trip

Just returned from a little getaway to Cape Cod - the "arm" of Massachusetts. I think this is our third annual fall trip there - a nice break after the craziness of the fall semester. We stay in the weekend home of friends of ours which has been such a blessing and generous gift.
We played miniature golf at a really fun place - all in pirate theme. Robert didn't tally our final scores, (wonder why?) but I must tell you that I made several holes in one! Maybe I have missed my calling!?
We toured the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory in Hyannis (home of the Kennedys) and got to take home free samples - kettle cooked and so yummy!

Our other activity was TV watching. This house has several TVs AND cable! Imagine our kids' delight to lie in bed and watch shows they have never seen - on channels they never dreamed existed - History Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Home and Garden. And Robert and I stayed pretty glued to Fox News getting, well, another perspective on the presidential election and candidates. Hmmmmm...someone isn't telling the whole truth.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Gluten Free Friday - Graham Crackers

This recipe comes from Rebecca Reilly's Gluten Free Baking. She specifies a couple of different flours to use, but I just use my typical mixture of rice, tapioca, and potato flours, and they seem to work just as well. I have made these multiple times for camping trips and backyard bonfires, so that the kids can have regular looking and tasting s'mores. A labor of love, but really not THAT difficult.

Graham Crackers

2 1/4 cups GF flour mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
7 Tbsp butter, chilled and chopped into pieces
3-4 Tbsp cold water
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla

Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt together. Using fingertips, work butter into the dry ingredients. Stir in 3 Tbsp cold water, honey, and vanilla. If dough is too dry, add a little bit more water, a teaspoon at a time. Roll dough into a ball and refrigerate for about an hour.
Roll dough out to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Use flour mixture to dust surface, or roll between parchment paper if desired. Cut into 2X3 inch pieces and prick all over lightly with a fork. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minute at 325 degrees until golden brown. Cool on rack. Repeat with remaining dough.

Variations: Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over before baking for cinnamon grahams.
For chocolate grahams, replace 1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp flour with cocoa powder.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Adventures with Chickens: The Renegade

This chicken's name used to be "Chocolate" or sometimes "Chocolate Bar," (Kayla named them all) but now she is affectionately called "Hard Head." She is extremely stubborn. In fact, all of the Barred Plymouth Rocks that we raised have this same stiff-necked streak. So, last night we went out to lock them up for the night, and Hard Head was up in a TREE - roosting high up on a branch that hangs over the coop.
And she WOULD NOT come down! Kory climbed up on top of the coop to try and bring her down, but she held on so tightly, and flapped so violently when he tried, that he was unable to accomplish the task. She is difficult to see in this photo because it was dark, but look about a half inch above Kory's hand, and you can make her out - black and white striped with the beginnings of a red comb.
Here are the rest of the girls bedding down for the night minus their stubborn friend who we had to leave in the tree. The good news is that she was still with us this morning when we woke up. Guess her lofty roost was high enough to protect her from the local predators!

Apple Picking

This past Saturday was the PERFECT day for apple picking! It was sunny, but cool, and the fall colors are starting to show everywhere. We went to two different orchards that are actually right next door to each other.
Kayla found a very short and low hanging tree that doubled as a hideout. She gathered numerous apples from the inside of this secret location!
And the kids got a hands on experience with the use/non-use of pesticides. The apples from one orchard were obviously treated with something to keep the bugs away, and the others were not. We talked about them still being edible, just a little more difficult to prepare - lots of peeling and looking out for worms. They were shocked to find that most produce bought at the local grocery store is also sprayed and fertilized to make it look so good.

After the apple picking, we headed to the local dairy farm for ice cream and coffee. It was a perfect Saturday afternoon - we even fit in Coop's tennis lesson, Kory's football game, and a baby shower!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Gluten Free Friday

This seems like such a perfect fall dish, and we're planning to pick apples at a local orchard over the weekend. I haven't actually tried this one yet, but plan to soon. Possibly for my dad's 70th birthday in a few weeks. He'll be visiting us here in New England for the special occasion, and he loves it when I cook for him. (Being a bachelor, he loves it when anyone cooks for him, really!) Robert's 40th birthday is the day before my dad's and so it will be a weekend of celebrating! The celebrations will look very different, though. Home-cooked meal and dessert at a nice hotel for my dad one night, and 1980's themed costume and karaoke for Robert the next night!

Sweet Potatoes with Baked Apples

3 large apples, cored, peeled, cubed
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
pinch salt
pinch nutmeg
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Apples:
Place apples in large bowl. Add cinnamon, 1/3 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, salt, and nutmeg, and gently mix together. Place in baking dish, cover with foil and bake 30-40 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes.

For Potatoes:
Place potatoes in large suacepan and cover with water. Add 1/2 tsp salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and mash adding butter, cream, vanilla, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and remaining salt. Mix well. Transfer to a serving dish and top potatoes with apples before serving.

Makes approx. 10 - 1/2 cup servings

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Back to Church 2008-2009

Well, we don't really ever "finish" church for the year, but in the fall when the students from the 5 College Area return, it feels like we are beginning again. This year marks our 10th "fall launch" as Robert calls it, and it always brings new faces and lots of activity. The 10th fall launch also means our family is entering our tenth year of ministry in Massachusetts!

Robert is starting the year by preaching through the Song of Solomon (a big draw for 20-somethings!), and will finish the semester with a sermon series on Nehemiah. We have had record crowds - even in the 9:30a.m. service which we instituted this year instead of the later 1p.m.service. It is so exciting to see so many new and old faces every week - we have to pull chairs out of our cafe space every week to accommodate everyone!
We always have a big cookout on the first Sunday after the first week of classes. A free lunch always draws a crowd as well!
Two weeks ago, our church had a fall retreat at a nearby conference center. We did a "ropes course" which everyone really had fun with.
On the first night, we played another game in which everyone had to stand on a straight line marked on the carpet. Then, without speaking, the players had to arrange themselves by order of birthday (month and day) without getting off of the line. After a few moments, the creativity set in - hand motions, driver's licenses, etc., and they completed the task. Such a fun time!

And I started leading another women's small group Bible study which I always look forward to. We're studying the Five Aspects of Woman: A Biblical Theology of Femininity, which is my all time favorite Bible study - ever! The group ranges from undergrads, to graduate students, to young married women. I have lost count of how many times I've been through this material, and yet it inspires me, convicts me, motivates me as a woman, and encourages my faith in Christ each and every time. Here are the ladies for this year's course (minus 2 in this photo):