Monthly Archives: April 2012

Bucket List: Great Wolf Lodge

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Aaron and I now have a bucket list. It’s funny how the knowledge that you only have a limited amount of time in the country changes your perspective. Previous to knowing that we’d move to Kenya, Aaron and I never planned vacations or really worried about enjoying the touristy places around us. Now, we feel like we need to take the kids everywhere and visit all our friends before we leave.

One of the items on our bucket list was to take the kids to the Great Wolf Lodge. Fortunately, there is one close to us in the Pocono Mountains. Aaron’s mom, Jayne, came Sunday night. Then, Monday afternoon, we loaded the kids, Nana, and a bunch of luggage into the van and headed north. The kids had no idea where we were going or what we’d be doing when we got there. In fact, on the way there, Jacob asked, “Are you going to Kenya?” He’s quite cute. 🙂 The funny thing is that they have been playing hotel and have been asking to go to a water park for the past couple of weeks! That made it even more fun for Aaron and I to keep the whole thing a secret.

As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, they got super excited. They couldn’t believe that they got to stay at a hotel with an indoor water park! Could life get any better?? (The answer to that question is NO! if you’re a kid who has no worries about how much it costs.) The Great Wolf Lodge not only has an indoor water park but also an arcade, spa, several restaurants, shops, and much more. It was impossible to do it all in the 3 days we were there. I’ll share a couple of pictures that highlight the fun.

Noah was so brave, and he got braver each day. This picture was taken in the wave pool on our last day there. Levi was fearless. We had to keep him in the life vest just so he wouldn’t drown. Jacob wasn’t quite as confident in the water. He preferred to stay in the shallow water and play with the foundations of water. Hannah did get take a short dip in the water. She was not impressed. She hung out with Nana and slept most of the time.

We are so blessed to have disposable income in this short time before we leave for Kenya. I’ll be sure to post more as we check other things off our bucket list!

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A lesson in Culture

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About a month ago our church held a missions conference luncheon. Everyone was asked to bring an ethnic dish to share, and I naturally wanted to make something Kenyan. (I think people expected that I would do that too, because many people asked what I made.) After a little Google search, I found Curry of Beef Kenya at http://www.cdkitchen.com. It was perfect because I had all the ingredients already and it was cooked in a slow cooker.

That Sunday, I placed the slow cooker on the Africa table with all the other stuff that looked less-than-appealing to me. (I thought the Central American table looked the best with all the Mexican dishes…I guess it’s too bad God isn’t calling us to Mexico.) I got the boys and Aaron their plates, and then I finally got myself some food. My slow cooker was empty. Nobody in the family got to try it, but we heard that it was good. Aaron requested that I make it for dinner sometime. I wasn’t too eager since curry isn’t one of our favorite spices.

Well, tonight was the night. I put everything in the slow cooker this morning. The smell of curry beef filled the house all day. I must admit that it smelled delicious and I was anxious to try it. The timer went off 6 and a half hours later. I added apple chunks, raisins, and pineapple chunks and set the timer for another 30 minutes. Then, I cooked up some rice and steamed some sugar snap peas. (The peas were a back up plan. I knew the boys would eat that if nothing else.) As I was spooning the rice and curry of beef into our bowls, I commented to Aaron, “I wonder how many complaints we’re gonna get about this.”

To my surprise, they loved it. And so did I! The curry isn’t overpowering, and the beef is super tender. I will definitely make this again, and maybe try a different variety of fruits. I loved the combination that I used this time, but I’m curious how pears and dried cranberries would taste. When Noah found out that it was a Kenyan recipe, he got excited and asked for seconds. Maybe Kenyan food won’t be so bad. I’m super glad I have adventurous eaters, and I highly recommend the following recipe.

Curry of Beef Kenya

1 large onion, sliced

1 tsp curry powder

2 Tbsp oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 lbs beef stew meat (1/2″ cubes)

2 cups beef broth

2 cups fruit

hot cooked rice

Saute onion and curry powder in oil over medium heat until onion is soft. Remove onions from pan. Increase heat to medium-high and brown beef. To crockpot, add onions, beef, salt, pepper and broth. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours.

About 1/2 hour before serving, add fruit. Serve over rice. You can add condiments (like chutney, chopped peanuts, green onions) if you’d like.

Serves 6.