Happy 22nd Anniversary!

I'd written a song for our wedding and part of it said,

through all the changes that are bound to come our way
I vow my love to you
With Jesus as my standard, strong in HIM I'll stay
a gentle, quiet spirit, for HIM to create in my, I pray
honoring HIM and you in love

and today, I marry my best friend
man and wife, beginning without end
a three strand chord will not be broken
as we stand faithful in Jesus Christ,
My friend, I love you

Jesus has led our path through many ups and downs, challenges, trials, good times, adventures....
and I'm thankful for Kurt.
I'm thankful to our loving Father's love, mercy, and grace in our lives and marriage.

Seven Principles

Kurt and I will be celebrating our 22nd year of marriage on Saturday July 7. This past weekend we went to Eden Nature Park for a 3 day, 2 night get away to celebrate.

We are working our way through the book pictured above. It is an excellent book for building a deeper, relational marriage. I highly recommend it to any couple interested in deepening their relationship.


Siopao is a Filipino steamed bread with a chicken, pork or beef filling. I enjoy getting one as a merienda (snack) when shopping at the mall. Recently, Mikayla and I found some pre-made in the freezer section of a fairly new grocery store here in Davao. We bought them and steamed them up for lunch! Yum!

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/4 cup white sugar
4 1/2 cups rice flour, divided
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening, divided

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped, or to taste
1 1/2 pounds shredded cooked chicken meat
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 cup diced green onion
1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cornstarch, if needed (optional)


Dissolve yeast in the water; stir in the sugar and beat in 2 1/2 cups of rice flour to make a soft sponge.
Set aside in a warm place to double in bulk, about 40 minutes. Mix in 2 more cups of rice flour and 1/4 cup of shortening and place the dough on a greased work surface;
knead in the remaining 1/4 cup of shortening to make a smooth dough. Cut the dough into 15 equal-sized pieces; form each piece into a ball.

Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir the onion and garlic in the hot oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, green onion, salt, and pepper. If the mixture is juicy, add cornstarch to thicken.

Working on a lightly greased work surface, flatten a dough ball into a circle about 4 inches in diameter with the heel of your hand. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the dough ball, bring the edges of the dough together at the top, and pinch and twist to seal in the filling. Place each filled dumpling onto waxed paper with the pinched seal at the bottom while you finish the rest of the dumplings.

Spray a multi-layered bamboo steamer with cooking spray, place the steamer on top of a large saucepan, and pour in water to several inches below the steamer. Bring the water to a boil.

Working in several batches, place 3 or 4 filled buns into each steamer layer without letting the buns touch each other or the edge of the steamer, cover the steamer, and let the buns steam over medium-low heat until puffy and the dough is springy, about 15 minutes per batch. Serve warm.

Summer Reading

I'm thankful our kids enjoy reading!

Mashing Potatoes

Sometimes, you just need to get up higher to add momentum
and applied force to the mashing of potatoes!