Friday, December 31, 2010

Blake and Natalie

last minute reminders before the ceremony

Blake, Natalie & Ben

Courtney and Amy Elder, Blake's sister and mother

running out to their gettaway mobile, a snowmachine, BRRRR!!!

About the "marrying" part of my last blog . . . well it turns out Ben got to practice his pastoral skills this week performing his first wedding for some friends of ours at FBF. Ethan Hansen, our senior pastor was lined up to officiate Blake and Natalie's wedding last night but a family emergency came up a week ago Thursday.

Ethan got a call from his brother in Dallas, TX saying their 16 year old son, Ethan's nephew, was killed in a car accident. Ethan's parents had just arrived two days prior to AK to spend the holiday in AK with the Hansens but all that changed quickly in a matter of hours. The grandparents flew out immediately to TX and the Hansen's left this past Sunday.

Blake and Natalie called Ben last Saturday and asked if he would offciate in Ethan's place. Of course Ben accepted and was honored to be asked. He was a little nervous not having had much time to mentally prepare for the ceremony but he did an awesome job! Blake and Natalie are happily married and Ben is greatful all went well with the last minute change.

I know I am biased but I must say my husband is a natural, truly when it comes to being a pastor!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ordination Sunday

Yep, I'm about a month behind again in blogging! The first Sunday in December was one that we won't soon forget and we want to share with family and friends. Ben was ordained officially at our church, Faith Bible Fellowship, in Big Lake, AK. He can now as he calls it, "marry and bury" and do all the other things ministers do. He will actually be performing his first wedding this coming Thursday for some friends of ours. We are blessed to be in full time ministry and love being a part of the church family at Faith Bible.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Pies

Strawberry Rhubarb


French Apple

I decided to test my domestic skills this holiday and make all my pies from scratch. Yes from SCRATCH . . . home made pumpkin pie, strawberry rhubarb pie and french apple pie. Homemade crusts, hand picked and chopped rhubarb, fresh baked pumpkin with spices added, but sadly no hand picked or home grown apples here in AK.

I've had success in the past with Joani Curtis' apple pie recipe, a favorite of mine now but I have never tried pumpkin or strawberry rhubarb before. I took the strawberry rhubarb pie and one of the pumpkin pies to a Thanksgiving service at church tonight. I sampled a piece of the rhubarb pie and it was surpisingly excellent! To be truthful I'm not a rhubarb fan so I figured I could try this one out at a desert potluck and someone who DOES like rhubarb can enjoy it. To my surprise I may like rhubarb (with other fruit added) after all! The apple and other pumpkin pie will be taste tested tomorrow at my parents house for Thanksgiving which also happens to fall this year on my mom's birthday. :) Happy Birthday mom!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Okay Burdines, here is the official post. For those who are not Burdines here's the story behind the pics. We decided at our last Burdine family reunion this past June to mix things up and not do a Christmas exchange because it is such a busy time of year and non of us really NEED anything. Instead we decided to do a Burdine/ Grammie Day on September 13th each year in memory of my grandmother (9/13 was her birthday). It's a special time of year for all of us and now we can remember each other in some fun way on her birthday.

So we all were given someone's name and my cousin Fredrick got Ben's name. Little did we know several family members had some input as to what to give Ben for Grammie Day. His arrived a little late but this past week Ben got his first of a year's subscription to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Or as Ben and his family call it "People who Eat Tasty Animals."

I didn't tell Ben what was coming in the mail but hearing through the grapevine I decided to have a little fun too. You see I had Fredrick's name. What did I send him you ask? Being a devoted democrat I did what any devoted republican would do, I sent him a 2011 Sarah Palin calendar WITH all of our extended family members birthdays written in it in sharpy so as to prevent regifting such a treasure. He'll be the most on top one of us all now with all our b-days lined out. We are all expecting emails or phone calls on our birthday now Fredrick. :) I love my family!!

P.S. If you're looking for some good vegan recipes PETA may just be the journal for you! Don't think we'll be making any seeing that we've got a freezer full of moose and salmon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

end of summer . . .

State Fair


blue berry picking

blue berry pancakes

Monday, August 23, 2010

been awhile . . .

Between losing my camera cable and just being plain busy settling into life in AK I temporarily dropped off the blogging scene. There is so much to catch up on I have decided to just pick up where we are now or I may just keep putting blogging off.

For all Ben's family and friends out of state our apologies for not keeping you as up to date with life back in AK. We are LOVING being back home! Ben is finally settling in to a more "regular" ministry routine with all the summer youth trips and VBS wrapped up. Between preaching twice a week, planning fall and winter youth events and spending outside time with youth he is keeping plenty busy. I started work a couple weeks ago working full time again as a speech path for my old district here in the Valley. I'm at Snowshoe Elementary this year and have a great staff and much smaller caseload to work with compared to CA.

One really neat blessing we have experienced since being back is a new vehicle. Before leaving CA we checked discount dealerships in WA and ID to possibly buy something cheap in the states and drive it up to AK when we moved. Long story short we decided not to go that route in hopes we'd find a good deal in AK. Specifically we (I maybe more so) really liked the Toyota Sequoia. We were looking for a mid size SUV that is 4WD. There was a decent deal on one in ID but we passed it up. Long story short a few weeks ago we found a Sequoia on Craigs List and the seller was from BIG LAKE! Not only did we get a better deal than the one we saw in ID but the family we bought it from lived approximately 10 minutes down the road from us! An even cooler part was the vehicle came with nearly new snow tires!! We would not have had that extra bonus if we bought it in the states.

God has really blessed us with vehicles just in the year + we've been married. We got a free replacement from a seminary student in LA last year, one that we were able to pass on for free to someone else when we left. And now we have a 4WD SUV that is exactly what we wanted and prayed for! God doesn't have to give us anything but sometimes He choses to bless us not only with what we need (4WD vehicle) but also what we want (Toyota Sequoia). Thank you Lord for your provision!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

wedding cake

Does anyone know where the tradition came from to freeze part of your wedding cake to eat on your first anniversary? It's an odd thing to do but fun at the same time. Last year my mom froze the top tier of our wedding cake (chocolate with raspberry filling, DELICIOUS!) and we thawed it last night to celebrate, a little late, our first anniversary. We had no idea if cake would even taste decent after a year in the freezer but surprisingly it did! I think fondet (fondent??) helps seal it to keep it from getting a lot of freezer burn. Whatever it was the cake was still delicious and even more enjoyable in the comfort of a home a year later when we could both savor eating it.

The best part for us of cutting in to our cake last night at my parents house was what we found hidden underneath. All my mom's family flew up from all over the world literally last summer to be at our wedding, the Burdine side that we just had the triennial family reunion with. Their big thing at Dave and Aimy's wedding was to hide $200 one dollar bills all over their house so they would find them in the weeks and months to come after their honeymoon. They literally were still finding $1 bills a year after their wedding, what a cool idea huh?

Since Ben and I lived in CA and they couldn't hide $1 bills all over our house they had people at our reception come up randomly and give us bills and they hid money in our honeymoon suit cases. Anyway, all that to explain we were REALLY surprised to find a final $1 bill hidden under our frozen wedding cake! Well done Burdines! I don't know how or when that got slipped there, I'm guessing during the reception but very creative! We loved finding it! What a fun family.

family time in WA

posing by a carved tree trunk at a local park

a picnic lunch at a local winery with Craig and Joan Probst, Craig is like a surrogate dad to Ben

the invisible green screen

the weather forecast for the evening looks sunny

We spent an afternoon with the Mitchells in MO before we flew back to CA to drive up the highway

I've managed to get behind again in my blogging in part because of our move to Alaska but also because I have misplaced my camera cable that lets me download pics in all the moving shuffle. Yep, I have no idea as of yet where my cable is but I am sure it will show up sooner or later. I have several pics to download but thought I'd put up a couple from our time with Ben's family in WA before we headed up the Alcan.

We got to spend two days with Ben's mom and Tim in Kennewick before heading to Spokane for 2+ days with his dad and Tina. Tim is a weatherman for a local news station in Kennewick and we got to crash his station one evening and do a little news shoot of our own, very fun! Thanks Tim! We also went shooting one afternoon with Dorothy and Tim . . . pistols this time. I'm improving my aim more and more. Hand guns are easier than rifles and shot guns b/c you having the "right fit" doesn't matter as much. We've already picked out "my" rifle that will come later down the road . . . a youth size that I can manage much easier than Ben's guns.

We enjoyed every minute of our time with family in WA. Thanks for being great hosts! I've got more WA photos that I'll post later when my camera cable shows up! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

travelin' north

time with Joani and Mark in Albany, OR

Allison (Joani's little girl)

Ed and Becky Hultgren (my aunt and uncle)

Erick and Jennifer Hultgren (my cousins)

Bart and Amy Horton helped us finish packing and loading the Uhaul Monday afternoon

We're on our way back to Alaska and have enjoyed staying with friends and family along the way. Monday night we crashed at Becky and Ed's house in Walnut Creek, CA (my aunt and uncle). Tuesday, after a 12 hour day of driving we crashed at Mark and Joani Curtis' house for dinner a quick catch up on life and good night's sleep and now we are in WA with Ben's family for four days before we hit it hard through Cananda. Above are some highlights of our first great road trip adventure together. :) Thanks to everyone for your awesome hospitality! It's been great to visit along the way.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Branson, MO

Ladies day out shopping

Aimy, Brittany, Allison

Jennifer, me and Beth

Silver Dollar City Amusement Park. . . can you tell we're together??

Girls G3 lunch, we made 7 different kinds of panini a little time intensive but DELICIOUS!

Guys G2 lunch, BBQ on the grill

This past week was the 10th triennial Burdine family reunion. The "Burdine family" is my mom's side of the family. This year we met up in Branson, Missouri for the week. Reunions vary on location being that everybody lives across the country from Washington DC and North Carolina to Ohio, North and South Dakota, California and Alaska. My grandparents started the tradition the summer of 1980 when I was two in hopes that our family would commit to meeting once every three years and stay close despite the distance we've always had. Thirty years later and years after both grandparents have passed away we are still going strong with the Burdine family reunion tradition. It is something we all look forward to and enjoy.