Something old, something new

These pictures are amazing!  It's the pictures of our house before it was our house-the contractor sent them to us after we asked him if we could see what the house looked like when he purchased it.  You can see what kind of disrepair the home was in.  I tried to match up old/new pictures as closely as possible.  Pretty cool!  We're SO grateful for our home.  Oh, if you didn't catch Dave's fish dish recipe, be sure to scroll down!


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Seafood Bonanza

For Thanksgiving I was in charge of making one side dish and I decided to make something that's a little less than traditional - seafood.  I invented this dish and after telling my mom about it, she requested the recipe. I decided to post it here to share it with everyone.

As with all my recipes, I don't ever measure anything, so my quantities are approximations.



1 pound shrimp (I used pre-cooked and pre-peeled because it was cheapest, but use whatever)

1 pound scallops (I used bay scallops - once again because it was cheapest)

1/2 a pound fish (I used cod - feel free to use more than 1/2 a pound)

5 celery stalks

1 pound frozen peas

1 can crab meat (the size of a tuna fish can)

1 can baby corn

1 can water chestnuts

1 can bamboo shoots

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon fish sauce

2/3 cup whipping cream

2/3 cup half and half (use all cream or all half and half as desired - I just had some of each on hand)

2 teaspoons paprika

1 tablespoon golden curry powder

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon soy sauce

salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

oil or margarine

chicken bullion cube



The secret for lots of oriental dishes (and this definitely has an oriental flavor) is to prepare the different ingredients separately and then put them together at the very end.  That said, you can prepare the following ingredients in any order you like.

Celery - Put the bullion cube in a small pan with about 3 cups of water and turn on medium heat.  Let the bullion dissolve.  Slice the celery into bite-sized pieces and boil in the bullion water until they are soft but still have a little bit of crunch left in them.

Scallops - Put the scallops in a small pan and allow to cook all the way through.  I did this on medium-low heat and just left them while I prepared everything else.  You probably don't need any oil/margarine, but you might want a little bit.

Shrimp - Peel if necessary (I always leave the tails on, but you don't have to).  Cook just like the scallops.

Fish - Cook with a little oil/margarine (I used olive oil) and allow to cook all the way through.  I put a little paprika on mine while it was cooking.  Try to leave it in the oil/margarine until it's completely cooked on one side and flip it only once.  After the fish is cooked, allow to cool and then break it into bite-sized pieces.

Vegetables - Put all the canned vegetables (drain really well before hand) and the frozen peas into a pan and allow to heat evenly on medium heat.  You may need a little tiny bit of water in the bottom of the pan but try to keep things as liquid-free as possible.

Sauce - The sauce takes the longest so you may want to start this first.  Put the milk in a large pot and put it on medium heat.  Add the fish sauce, soy sauce and all the spices (except salt and pepper) and stir until everything is very well dissolved.  Stir in the cream/half and half and the canned crab meat.  Let the pan simmer uncovered until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of a thin gravy.

When all your separate ingredients are prepared, add them all directly to the sauce and stir in.  Add salt and pepper to taste (or, as I do, salt each of the individual ingredients to taste as you are making them).


You can serve your Seafood Bonanza anyway you like, but I elected to serve mine in a trazoid bowl with a wooden spoon.  Make sure you serve it soon after it is done because it's a dish best eaten warm.  It is also a great dish to eat over white rice.



Here's a picture of the finished product.



Well Thanksgiving has come and gone, but the leftovers will probably last another week!  We had such a feast!  Adam and Meghan Stoddard drove down from Saginaw to join us, which was really fun.  Dave and I had so much fun cooking all day to get ready for dinner.  We seriously had enough food for a small army.  Our menu was:

Turkey(special sesame/rosemary basting)  (Dave)

Mashed Potatoes (Megan)

Green Bean Casserole (Megan)

A fish dish (Dave)-he decided to try a twist for Thanksgiving Dinner

Roasted Pepper, Sweet Potato, Onion and Zucchini (Megan)

Special Stuffing (Dave)

Lime Jello with Cottage Cheese and Pinneapple (Megan)-Mueller Family tradition

Apple Pie (Megan)

Pumpkin Pie (Megan)

I attempted rolls.  They didn't quite turn out as planned. ;)

Meghan and Adam also brought a cherry pie and a pumpkin pie, and apple cider!


It was such a wonderful dinner, and it definitely reminded us how we have such an abundance of blessings.  I think that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, if not my favorite-only possibly behind Christmas.  We feel so blessed to have Harry, our home, a loving wonderful family, each other, the gospel and so many other things.  It was really nice to celebrate Thanksgiving in our new home. Life is SO good-we certainly feel the love of the Lord daily.

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I thought the turkey looked very nice!

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We tried to put Harry in his high chair, not really to eat, but just to see if he was able to hold his head up in it.  He did really well!  We haven't even started him on solids, but we like giving him tiny tastes of lot of things.  The crying picture is where he got scared for a second and felt he needed to scream!  Sometimes he gets scared when he sees new faces.  Don't worry Harry, it's just Uncle Bukran!

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One of the best parts of the day, though, was when Jordan and Crystal called to tell us that Crystal is expecting!  We are SOOOO excited for both of them.  Being a parent is the greatest ever, and we are sure they'll love it.  It was great news!!


Well some things have changed around here.  First off, on Friday night Harry slept in his own room for the first time!  I felt ready for it.  It was really nice to have him sleep right next to the bed, and to be able to hear his little cry.  We don't have the crib yet, but I just put his pack-n-play in there, and we have the baby monitor set up that I got for my shower (thanks gals!).  The pack-n-play is great, he has used it since the day he came home.  To all moms out there-I have no idea when it is "normal" to have a child sleep in their own room, or when many other things are considered normal.  The biggest reason being that for some things I just don't want to know.  I think being a mom is really intuitive and most things you can figure out just by trusting how you feel.  So don't let people tell you what's right! ;)  Advice is still awesome (especially being a first-time-mom), but I usually take the advice and see if I feel it would really be a good idea for Harry.  Of course medical type things are a different story-that why doctors train for many years.  If there is a serious problem with the child, then it definitely should be treated!! (or prevented).  I'm thankful for doctors in my life that's for sure.  Anyway that was Harry's 4 month birthday present-his own room!  Now I'm just really excited to get the crib!!

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More changes include:

-Taking the plastic covering off the stairs and the entryway!  It's so nice to feel the soft carpet on my feet going up and down the stairs!

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-I finally gave away my favorite, favorite jeans!!  They started to get a hole in the knee, and I just got some new ones from sears (big sale-I got them for $2 and amazingly they fit really well!).  It was like quitting cold turkey, I decided that it was better to just get rid of them now, rather than wean myself off of them ;)  Seriously, I wore these jeans almost every single day for like 2 years, I really liked the way they fit.  Thanks Dave, for buying them for me!!   

-At Harry's 4 month appointment, we found out his stats:  He now weighs 14 lbs (he put on about 2 1/2 lbs since his 2 month appointment).  And he measured 25 inches!  His head also measured just fine.  We love Harry so much.  We were just talking this morning about how much more complete our life is with Harry here.  We feel really blessed!

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Just a side note-it's soooo nice to have a rocking chair to feed Harry in.  I went without for almost 4 months-it wasn't too bad-I would just feed him on the bed-but boy, is the chair great!  Thanks mom and dad for donating it to us :)

My boys and good customer service-two things that put a smile on my face!


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DSC02707 Well it's been a while since I've blogged....You may have thought that the house centipede ate us all up, but no, we're still here!!  We have been really busy putting our house together.  It's getting really close!  It's exciting to see a pile of collapsed boxes.  I have something to say about customer service-here's the story.  Ever since we got our washer delivered, it was leaking out of the bottom somewhere.  It was a little irksome, since it was brand new!  I called Whirlpool because there is a 1 year warranty, and they came out the next day to check it out, no charge (customer service smile #1!) and the tech found that 3 of the shocks were broken and the tub was cracked in a couple places!  Yikes!  Ya, that's a pretty big problem.  He tried to call whirlpool to order the parts, but they wouldn't cover them under the warranty because it probably happened during delivery(we moved it ourselves).  I was upset!  He told me to call ApplianceSmart (a well known scratch and dent place here-they sell about 300 units per week) and see what they could do.  So I called them, revving myself up to defend my position and tell them they needed to fix this problem!  Lo and behold, it was probably the best customer service I've had....EVER!!!  I talked to a salesman for about 30 seconds, and then he had me talk to the store manager who was great.  He said, oh just come in and well set you up-he was surprised at all the things that were broken.  I asked if the problems could've happened when we delivered it to our house-he said no, it would only happen if you dropped it off a bus!  I was so happy that I thanked him for the wonderful service, and told him that I had prepared myself for the worst, and he said oh you were ready to fight with me!  He laughed.  So that night I went in and this is the best part.  They were out of the model that we had purchased, so they gave us a new SET where the washer alone was 3 steps up from the one we had!  The new washer alone was the price we paid for the old washer and dryer together.  AND they included free delivery and installation of the new set!!!!  We were really pleased, and this set works great-no leaks and the capacity is so enormous (I've really been able to test them out, because I'm washing every article of clothing/all  the linens we own that sat in the trailer for 2 1/2 months)!  I couldn't be happier.  Don't you just love getting customer service like that?  WOW!  So ya, there's a plug for ApplianceSmart :)  If anyone else has customer service like this, tell me, because I'll definitely shop there! 

Something truly ugly

House_centipede David and I were in the basement, and I saw something on the window.  I usually don't flip out over bugs, but this one sent me running!!!  We looked around on the 'net and decided it was probably a house centipede, similar to the one in this picture.  The one in our basement was about 3 inches long.  Yuck!  They eat all sorts of bugs, so the experts say don't kill them-they are very very fast, so it's hard to get them anyway.  They can bite but usually don't, and if they do it may sting or cause an allergic reaction (very similar to how a bee sting works.)  I hope I don't ever see one venture up from the basement!  Just writing this blog I'm getting the heebie-jeebies.


Harry was a bee for Halloween!  He's always our cute little bug, but last night it was literal.  I thought it would be fun to dress him up for his 1st Halloween, and I think it turned out pretty well (totally for my own indulgence, although I'd like to think he had fun with it!)  The costume was about as easy as it gets-it was all made of felt, foam, pipe cleaners, and safety pins!  Oh, and don't forget Dave's socks.  We took him to the store with us to show him off.  Dave cleaned the Temple while I stayed home with Harry and afterward we toasted to our new home with the sparkling grape juice that has been in our fridge for like a year.  We'll be posting pics of our new home shortly, maybe once things get a little more put together.  We love it here already!  It was exciting to close the deal and to move our apartment stuff in.  Oh the space!  It feels great just to be able to move around during the day!  We even have all our appliances in now, and we got the cable, internet and phone hooked up yesterday.  Everything works great and that is sooo nice!  I can't wait til tomorrow and Saturday when we start unloading the trailer.  Hopefully, it doesn't smell like a wet cat from being closed up for so long!


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Our cute little bug!  The headband/antennae actually stayed on the entire night- he's not quite to the age where he'll want to tear everything off his head-so it worked out really well! 


Harry's first night in our house!  How snuggly! 


A random picture of Harry because he looks so adorable in his hat.  Thanks, mom!

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