Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 NIV

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our Southern White Christmas 2010

Hello All!

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas Day, I know I sure did!

Here in the South, there are lots of things that we have the privilege of taking part in, snow is not usually one of them. Today, us Southerners were in for a lovely suprise, and oh, did we revel.

We have 9-12 inches of snow on the ground. Yeah, you heard me.

We built snowmen, we went sledding, we skiied, we made snow-cream, we played with our dogs, and then we came inside and collapsed.

I pray that the rest of your holidays will be filled with love, joy, and peace, and that the New Year will be ushered in like never before!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Is It Here Already? {O Wow}

Really? Is it Christmas Eve so soon? Where did the time go? I can't seem to recall.

Lots of running around, party planning, seeing good friends, eating good food, and loving the Lord has completely consumed my year.

It's had an abnormal amount of ups and downs, tears, laughter, grey skies, and sunshine. I am thankful that through the tough times, my faith has become stronger, and I have realized how much of a ripple in His massive Ocean that I am. I am thankful that through all of my imperfections, misgivings, and inadequacies, He still chooses to call me Daughter. I am honored that I may call Him "Father", and be a vessel for His Kingdom. I pray that in all the days to come, I will serve Him with a passion that precedes my blemishes and the sin-struggles that I try to hide.

I hope and pray that all of you, my faithful readers (few as there may be), have a blessed and merry Christmas :)

With Love,

Laura Lee

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hopewell {Mighty Hunter} ...or so we hope.

With much gladness in my heart, I am here to announce that our hawk trapping days have come to a close! Welcome, Trinity Oaks Hopewell:


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Think I Will Be a Good Wife and Mom.

I know, that sounds slightly odd. But I really think I will be.

Let me explain.

For a long time, I thought about never getting married. I thought myself toooo self-centered, uncapable of performing the smallest wifely task, and all around a not-very-good person to make someone happy. And I didn't think I was pretty (this goes along with the story).

The other night, the Lord sat me down and had me make a list of all the things I was good at, and generally liked to do.

1. Ride horses

2. Organizing and decorating rooms

3. Photography

4. Culinary Arts

5. Putting together outfits

6. Organizing things in general

7. Clean (no's a nasty habit)

I couldn't get past seven, but He then proceeded to reassure me that I was good at several other things.....of which cannot come to my mind, but I must trust that He knows what He's talking about.

And then He had me write down things that I thought I was not good at or struggled with:

1. Math

2. Generally loving people

3. Math

4. Encouraging people

5. Having compassion on all of humanity

6. Writing

7. Being a good person

8. Science

9. Telling people about all of the good things the Lord has done for me

10. Making people laugh (I don't know where this fits into the equation, but at the time I thought it was important)

11. And, I just wasn't that pretty. A certain fact of life that I thought very important.

The Lord then told me that 1) I wasn't horrible at math, I just had more right-brain inclinations. 2) You love people, silly, just in your own way. 3) Why did you put math twice on your list? 4) You encourage people in things you think they are good at.....but then again, maybe we do need to work in this area a wee bit. 5) Are you kidding me? Do you remember when you left the grocery store crying the other day because you saw an elderly man paying with pennies that he counted out of a rusted Altoid can? 6) No, you are not Ernest Hemingway or King David when it comes to the gift of eloquence, but you have a knack with putting down what you are thinking onto paper, and that my dear, is quite good enough for me. 7) This again? I'm starting to see a pattern here... 8) See question #1 9) I think you do that more than you think you do. 10) Hah! 11) Do you think that I am capable of making something that is not beautiful? I formed you before anyone on this planet had the slightest inclination to think of you. I am beauty. Therefore, whatever My hand touches is beauty. You are beauty.

And then I realized, Oh! First of all, you shouldn't even be thinking about if you will be a good wife and mom, that's a long way off; and second, since you are thinking about it, let's just be realistic.


That's just the truth.

I think I'll be a great mom. And feed my children great food. And dress them in cute clothes. And they will always match.

(Humor me and go along with that last one. Reality, I'm sure, will hit me someday.)

I'm not quite certain why I decided to post this on here, but it reassured me of a whole lot.

Thanks for lending an ear :)

And for those of you who have any doubts yourselves, let me make one thing clear: YOU. ARE. AMAZING.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Joy to the World

Christmas music playing. Decorations up. Coffee cake is baking. Cinnamon scented candles burning.

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night ,O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In Search of the Perfect Bird

As some of you may know, my dad is a licensed falconer, which means he has a license which permits him to trap, own, train, and hunt with the raptor of his choice (more or less). Sadly, we lost our female hawk this Summer due to heat exhaustion, so this trapping season finds us out scouting again!

Now, there are many laws and rules for falconers to abide by, seeing as falconry is a federally regulated sport. You may only trap immature birds because the mature birds are needed for mating. Although they are trying to change that law, it has not gone into effect yet. That law kept us from keeping a beautiful, massive, female red-tail hawk. Here are some pictures of our adventure:



Monday, December 6, 2010

Laura, I think I want to marry you.

"But Christopher, didn't you say that when you got a wife, you would make her sleep outside in a tree....naked?"

"Laura! I would NEVER do that to you! Just the others!"

"Oh...others? That makes me feel so much better."

"You look pretty today, Laura."

"Thank you, Bud."


Friday, December 3, 2010

Chipotle Roast Chicken Tacos {Mexican Yummyness}

Spicy. Healthy. Gourmet. DELICIOSO!

Chipotle Roast Chicken Tacos
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (plus three sprigs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (plus three sprigs)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (plus three sprigs)
  • 4 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 5.5- to 6 pound roasting chicken, rinsed, patted dry
  • 3 large onions, each cut into 8 wedges through root end, leaving root ends intact
  • 15 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup (or more) organic chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 8 warm tortillas
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced

In small bowl mix butter, cilantro,


and rosemary.

Add chipotle chiles and coriander.

Mix well with fork.

Like, really well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.

Place chicken, breast side up, in large roasting pan. Starting at neck end of chicken, slide fingers under skin to loosen, being careful to avoid tearing. Spread all but one tablespoon seasoned butter over breast meat and thigh meat under skin. Rub any butter remaining on fingers over outside of chicken.

Sprinkle main cavity of chicken with salt and pepper; place all herb sprigs in cavity. Tie legs together loosely.
Place onion wedges in large bowl. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon seasoned butter in small saucepan over low heat; pour over onion wedges and toss to coat.

Arrange onion wedges around chicken. Sprinkle onions and chicken with salt and pepper.
Roast chicken and onions for 30 minutes.

Peel garlic.

Scatter garlic cloves around chicken;

add 1/3 cup broth to roasting pan.
Continue to roast chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 17o degrees F, basting occasionally with pan juices and ading more broth by 1/3 cupfuls as needed to maintain juices in roasting pan, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove roasting pan from oven. Tilt chicken, draining juices from cavity into pan. Transfer chicken, onions, and garlic to platter. Tent with foil to keep warm. Add 1/3 cup broth and wine to pan. Place over 2 burners and bring juices to boil, scraping up browned bits. Strain juices into bowl. Discard fat from top of juices.

Cut meat from chicken. Serve, making tacos with warm tortillas, chicken, onions, garlic, and avocado. (we added black beans, freshly grated cheese, and sour cream.) Drizzle tacos with pan juices.
Enjoy! We sure did :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crème brûlée

When I was eight, my father took me to a spectacular gourmet French restaurant called The Pleasant Peasant. That day my life took a turn for the better.

The French Onion soup was divine, the chicken was to die for, but what I remember most was dessert.

Crème brûlée. The creme of the crop. It was love at first bite (I know, that phrase is highly overused).

This is the ultimate crème brûlée, the most classic of all French desserts. There are now many Americanized versions, but, in my opinion, this is the one and only, rich and delicious "burnt cream".


  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 4 cups heavy cream

  • 1 vanilla bean, split

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 6 large egg yolks

**Special Equipment: Shallow 8-10 ounce oval ramekins**

1. Spread the brown sugar on a small baking sheet. Place, uncovered, in a dry spot for at least 24 hours, our until the sugar is quite dry. Push through a fine sieve. Set aside.

2. Assemble the mise en place trays for this recipe.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

4. In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the cream and vanilla bean over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until just warm.

5. In a bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and egg yolks. When well blended, whisk in the cream. Strain through fine sieve into a bowl.

6. Divide the mixture among 6 eight-ounce shallow oval ramekins. Place in a shallow roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The custards will still be soft; do not overbake.

7. Transfer the custards to wire racks to cool for at least 30 minutes.

8. Preheat the broiler.

9. Spoon the brown sugar into a fine sieve and sprinkle evenly over the tops of the custards. Broil for about 15 seconds to melt and burn the sugar topping. Watch cafefully to prevent charring. Serve immediately.

This will test your skills, make you question your insanity, and wonder where you came from.

May God be with you.

Okay, just kidding. It was extremely easy. :)



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