I can't believe it's already the end of August. Right now it is rainy, dark, and cool outside--I love it! But it's another reminder that summer is coming to an end. Well, maybe not completely... because Andy and I have our "summer" vacation yet to go on! We leave for a week in Scottsdale on September 5th. We are SO looking forward to 5 days of lying by the pool, reading, spending time together, and relaaaxing. We're also excited about being able to drive around Tempe and spend some time in the town we're moving to in less than a year! When we decided on when to go on vacation, we were thinking we'd go to some tropical island, but everything seemed too expensive and hurricane season usually starts around September. So anyway, we both separately thought that Scottsdale would be a nice place to go since it would give us another chance to visit Tempe. We're staying at a beautiful and luxurious resort. Yay, I can't wait!
But in the meantime, the end of August is pretty busy around here. Next Sunday is a big day at church. Our church, CFCF, is planting a new local church in a few towns over, Waltham, MA. The River Church will be pastored by our lead pastor at CFCF! It's a long story, but Sean's last Sunday, as well as the rest of the Waltham team, next week. So it's a big celebration service and picnic. Sean Richmond has been the lead pastor at CFCF for the past 11ish years, so this is a bittersweet day! Of course, they'll just be "across the river", but it's a big deal. I'm excited about all that God has in store for The River and also for all of us at CFCF, though! Unfortunately, it's my weekend to work, so if you're reading this, please pray that someone will switch days with me so I can get sunday off. I've been going to CFCF for 7 years. This will be a day I want to be a part of. Also, the annual college leaders' retreat is at the end of the month. This is a time of the college faithgroup leaders to come together again after the summer break to pray, worship, and get envisioned for the new school year. Andy and I are section leaders in the college ministry, so we attend the retreat. It's going to be interesting since we have new college pastors (our good friends, Dave and June Doran!) now that Travis and Joy are preparing to move to Tempe, too. The retreat is always a fun time of getting pumped up to see what God has in store for the new year. (funny, around here, the new year starts in September, not January!)
Ok, so now I'll post some food I've made in the past few days. One is a delicious new dish that I think I'll make A LOT. It's so easy and really delicious. I got the recipe from my aunt Cindy, who got it from her friend (I think?), Shelly Kohler.
Basmati Rice and Chicken Salad
1 c. basmati rice (I used Jasmine)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 c. cooked, cubed chicken
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onion (4-6 onions)
1/4 c. chopped sundried tomatoes
1 tsp. grated fresh lemon peel
1 16-oz can of garbanzo beans
1 8-oz jar of artichoke hearts (I think I used a 16 oz can!)
1/4 c. chicken broth
3 Tbl. lemon juice
3 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard (um, totally missed this ingredient!)
1/4 tsp each of salt, pepper, and oregano
Basically, cook the rice with the garlic, let cool. Mix in the chicken and other ingredients, then pour the dressing on. Mix well. You can serve this luke warm (like right away after you make it) or cold (from the fridge). I mean, I'm sure you could heat it up, too, but I think it tastes better slightly cold. Oh, and I also sliced up little balls of mozzarella.
|Up close and personal.|
I also used up some lemons I've had lying around by baking these cookies from my favorite blog, Annie's Eats.
|Delicious lemon poppy seed cookies!|
|So easy to make!|