Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What a Fun Time of Year!


Last week at this time I was on a plane heading back from a recruiting trip in Jamaica. I thought I would recap the highlights of my trip:

1. High tea at the British influenced hotel, Terra Nova, in Kingston.
2. Two successful fairs and interviews in Kingston and Montego Bay.
3. Speaking about Hockaday and all-girls education on Jamaican radio and TV.
4. Getting up at 5:00 a.m. or before three times within a week!
5. A very successful girls' boarding school reception with Dana Hall and Buffalo Seminary (we literally ran out of food and information - which is a nice problem to have).
6. Getting a little laying out/ beach time at a fabulous resort.
7. Having a crab the size of my face creep into the resort room!


A day after returning to Dallas, Nate and I drove to Houston for a McCombs' family Thanksgiving with my mom's whole side of the family. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins came to our house to play games, eat, and watch football (Gig' Em Ags)! My mom is great about always taking a moment during the day to stop and aknowledge what we're thankful for. This year, we have so much to praise the Lord for... a new marriage, a great place to live, healthy family, wonderful friends, and jobs! We also took time to talk about the trials and hardships that God has used to mold and shape us and how we are thankful for those. That was such a special time of hearing about God's faithfulness and gaining encouragement from family who has walked our road before us.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." - James 1:2-3

 We stayed in Houston through Sunday and hung out with my family. I love getting time to just lay around in our pj's and watch TV, play games, and chat. Wade and Lindsay took us out to their favorite places in the Heights area on Saturday night and we had a blast hanging out with them! I always love getting to spend time with my mom and dad and can't wait for April to come visit us in a few weeks!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Edgar the Turkey

Tonight is the annual "Morgiving" to celebrate Morgan's birthday. It's going to be at our house, so naturally we decided to cook the turkey (didn't cross our minds when we volunteered that neither Nate nor I knew the first thing about buying, dressing, and cooking a turkey). Last night we went to get a turkey (again, never been turkey shopping before), and we bought what we thought was a fresh, non-frozen turkey. Lo and behold, when we got home and started taking out the giblets and neck (thank goodness there is directions on the packaging) we realized it was frozen in the middle! PANIC... well, not really... at that point Nate started flapping Edgar's wings and moving his legs like he was alive. After working last night and this morning to defrost him, I went home during lunch to find Edgar completely de-thawed and ready to be dressed! My turkey recipe is the culmination of my mom and all of the women in my office. I will say, phase one (Edgar being prepped and dressed) is complete and he even looks like a real turkey. Now, Nate is at home putting Edgar in the oven to cook, and hopefully phase two will be ready in time for our company tonight. The final verdict on Edgar will come later, after his date with destiny ...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Am My Mother's Daughter

My mom is one of my best friends and we are similar in so many ways. We think alike, talk alike, and get excited about the same things. I've also recently realized that not only did I inherit some of mom's personality traits but I also inherited one of her passions - hospitality. Growing up, our home was always filled with people. My mom and dad's dream when they built our house was for our home to be a place of peace where people could relax and feel at home. Mom modeled to me someone who loved and was gifted at hostessing. Not because the house was meticulously clean or because the food, decorations, and details were all perfect selections from "Martha Stewart Living" (not that mom didn't decorate beautifully and have wonderful food). She was a great hostess because her motto, which was taught to her by her mother, my Honey, was - "there's always room for more beans in the pot." Whether a party or just a Tuesday night dinner, Mom and Honey made others feel welcomed and at home. Hosting wasn't about perfection, it was about loving on people and just enjoying the company of others. 

Now that I'm grown up, I've realized that share this same passion for hospitality. Although there are things about my personality that are different from mom's, the desire to share my home with others is the same... I love cooking (even if it's just for Nate and I) and getting my home ready for visitors. I love when my friends feel comfortable enough to just camp out on our couch on a Saturday and hang out with Nate and I. I love that my family has a place to stay when they come to Dallas. I love breaking bread with our friends at our table and the conversations that follow while sitting on the couches, shoes kicked off, drinking a glass of wine. I love being able to celebrate friends birthdays and special occasions while doing somethings special for them. I love being able to make others feel welcomed and wanted...

Thank you mom, for being such a special example to me of hostessing and ministry. That is what I want... for the Kotschi house to truly be a place of "Konnecting" with God, friends, family, and even strangers!

"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

- Matthew 18:20

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mellow Monday

The weather has been so nice the last few days, and I wanted to take advantage of that before it gets warm again this week. Last night, we had a wonderful dinner on our back patio and really enjoyed simply talking and enjoying the peaceful quietness. It was nice to turn off the TV, not worry about work or our "to do" list and do something different!

We're really trying to be wise about our budget and money, and I'm cooking a lot more these days (which I really love). I made macaroni casserole with smoked sausage, rosemary brussel sprouts, and salad. I can't say the brussel sprouts were a big hit to Nate, but he did eat two of them!

The macaroni casserole ended up being AWESOME, so I thought I would pass along the recipe, we'll call it "Smoked Mac-n-Cheese":

2 boxes velveeta shells-n-cheese
liquid smoke
smoked sausage (cooked and sliced)
Italian bread crumbs
2 Tbs butter (melted)
shredded cheddar cheese

1. Make velveeta according to directions
2. Add salt and pepper (to taste), a few drops liquid smoke (be careful, it's strong!), and sliced sausage and mix well.
3. Spread into casserole dish. Add a handful of cheese over the top. Sprinkle bread crumbs and pour melted butter to top it off.
4. Bake on 350 for about 20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

For My Husband...

Let me just take a moment to really honor my husband and thank him for his hard work this week. He's been so quick to help me with things around the house. One big project that's been on the "honey-do" list is mounting our living room TV. Nate knew I really wanted this done so he went to Sam's on Wednesday and bought a mount. To his frustration, after spending several hours putting it together he discovered when they say, "fits most TV's," they didn't mean his LG. Nate finally found and ordered one online and spent Friday night and all day today (Sunday) mounting the TV then drilling holes in the walls and running wires so the cables wouldn't show. After tons of work, it's done and it looks AMAZING!

On the same note, I had a "Scentsy" party for my friend Morgan today (Sunday). We were running really late after church and it was looking like I wasn't going to have enough time to clean up around the house and make snacks. Without being asked or commenting that he had, Nate cleaned up our bedroom, did the dishes in the kitchen, and planted pansies in our flower pots for me! I was so very thankful for my personal "Mr. Fix-It" husband and his servants heart, hard work, and help this week. He totally blessed my socks off and loved me so well. Thanks Nate, I love you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

You Tube Funnies

I don't know who invented YouTube, but thank you! The funny, serious, motivational, and every other kind of video entertainment are so useful for wasting time. A few weeks ago Nate and I discovered, "Marcel The Shell With Shoes On" and it's awesome! My coworker (who I share an office with), Katie, and I were watching it again today when I found another video, "Charlie the Cheez-It". If you haven't seen these, here you go:

Marcel the Shell

Charlie the Cheez-It

Here's a tribute to some of my favorite YouTube videos:

1. Charlie Bit My Finger
2. Double Rainbow
3. Bed Intruder Song (Antwon Dodson)
4. Scarlett Takes a Tumble
5. Bon Qui Qui (p.s. Kate and I do an amazing rendition of this)
6. Nail Salon - Anjelah Johnson
7. David Goes to the Dentist

What are some of your favorite YouTubes?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The "Church Hunt"

As most of you who know, Nate and I are in the process of "church shopping". Before we started dating, we attended different churches and once we were engaged we both felt the Lord calling us to look into other churches together... just one of the many and wonderful things that comes with joining lives together. Luckily, we live in the Bible belt, and Dallas has some wonderful churches to choose from. We're really enjoying this time and learning a lot because it challenges us to really listen to God and also helps us realize what things are important to us in a church home. There have been many great conversations in that after-church car ride home.

In the meantime, we have decided to do a Bible study together, and are looking for a good, several week study. It definitely doesn't have to be about marriage, and we're super open about a topic. That being said does anyone have any suggestions of studies they've done and really loved or of churches in Dallas?...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chicken Divan Recipe

"Chicken Divan" is an easy casserole recipe that my mom use to make us. I combined her recipe with some of a Paula Dean recipe and viola!...

4 chicken breasts (cooked and diced, cut, or shredded)
1 large bunch of fresh broccoli (cooked and cut)
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1.5 cup shredded cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbs butter (melted)
lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste (I also like to use "Tony Saturies" seasoning)

1. Combine chicken and broccoli in casserole dish
2. Mix together mayo, sour cream, soup, cheese, lemon juice and seasoning to make sauce
3. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and mix well
4. In a separate bowl, mix together parmesan cheese, butter, and bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of the casserole
5. Bake casserole @ 350 for 30-40 min. Serve with rice.