…whatever you call it in your part of the world, it’s yummy! If you have never tried it it’s the perfect season to brew some up!

I had my first vino caliente in Bogota a few years ago. It was so yummy and hit the spot on those cold rainy evenings. When we arrived in Switzerland we met our friends Bo and Leigh in Basel for Herbstmesse and Leigh introduced me to the European version, Gluwein. It’s basically hot, yummy, mulled red wine. I am not usually a red girl but with the doctoring it is super cozy. I think here in Switzerland it seems sweeter to me but maybe I just can’t remember well enough. In Bogota if you ordered it at a restaurant they often sugared the rim of the glass!







There are many different methods for making Gluwein and everyone has their own fav. You can buy it already mixed or you can make it easily at home.

This is how I make it…

grab a bottle of dry red wine

A cup of apple juice  or cider (to sweeten it up a bit)

A few cloves, cinnamon, etc!

A couple of slices of orange and apple!

If you like it nice and sweet dissolve 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar in the mix

Last year I discovered that they now sell tea bag type things with mulling spices!! So no more floating stuff in the gluwein! Just the bag of goodness!

Pop it on the stove and simmer on low for 30-45 minutes, but don’t boil it!! Just get it good and steamy hot.

If you don’t have a group to help you with your pot-o-wine and just want a glass it’s super easy to just play around with the ingredients and get it how you like it!   This probably goes without saying but if you don’t drink alcohol and still want to try it you can obviously cook it longer and hotter and burn off the alcohol!







And for those of you that are like, “um, that isn’t really a recipe” and would feel more comfortable trying something more official here are a few links for “real recipes”! Enjoy!


Vino Caliente

Try this out for Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings!!

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Saturday night we had a group over for pumpkin carving! It was such a fun evening. Most of our friends had never carved one before but they all dove in and seemed to have fun.  We covered the dining room table with a plastic table cloth and newspapers and told everyone to bring a pumpkin and a knife!

I set out a few appetizers to munch on while we carved and then kept dinner super simple!! We had hot ham and cheese sandwiches (thanks for the recipe, Amy!) and a fall salad. We followed it up with homemade pumpkin pie and a friend brought some cake! I must say that might be the first and last time I make pumpkin pie from an actual pumpkin! It was wonderfully delicious and better than from a can but I must say took waaaay more time than I had! Another friend brought Gluwein that simmered on the stove!!! Maybe this week I will try to post some recipes for that so you can try it in whatever corner of the world you are!

Here are some pics from the festivities…







caramel apples…darn things stuck to the buttered wax paper but they looked pretty!































a little hesitant to pull out the “guts”!







it was serious work folks!







most of the kids showing off their creations!


thanks for a fun night, friends!

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When I was 15 I went on a church trip to Guatemala (with many of you that read this blog!). It was an amazing experience. We all worked on different teams doing camp for the kids, construction, etc. For the most part I spent my week helping in the clinic. It was so humbling to see what these people were dealing with. Mothers brought babies in that were clearly “failure to thrive” but these moms were doing their best to provide for their children. Moms were breastfeeding babies when they had hardly a bite to eat themselves. Kids were sick with diarrhea almost permanently from drinking amoeba-filled water and parents were unable to mask their deep needs with fancy clothes or even a smile to convince us that everything was okay. At the time I wasn’t a mom yet but I could see that their maternal instincts weren’t enough to make their socio-economic situation any better or their children any healthier.  They wore despair in their countenance.  The clinic had a newly acquired ultrasound machine. Now in the US we would have fussed that it wasn’t 3D and that it didn’t even offer a visual but for these mothers the concept of hearing their babies’ heartbeat nearly knocked them off the examining table. We saw them smile and regain hope that they were a part of growing new life!

One of the mornings we heard that there was a pregnant woman coming down from the mountains nearby and that she was ready to deliver her baby.  I was so excited and certainly naive at the thought of experiencing the miracle of birth. I remember riding in the bed of a dirty beat up pickup truck down the road to the clinic.  The road was so uneven that we banged against the metal sides as we rode. While we made our way in the truck a young mother made her way down the mountain. I imagine the rocky path while in labor was far worse than our jostling ride on the mud road.

I stood back as the nurse and my friend prepped the mom for her baby’s birth. I remember the look of terror on the mother’s face like it was yesterday. It wasn’t just the anticipation of sleepless nights and the loss of being alone as a couple with her husband, it was a matter of life and death for her. I am certain she had many friends and family members who experienced births that were a far cry from a sterile hospital. While I prepped my camera and anxiously fidgeted this mom worried that something terrible might happen in childbirth. I imagine she was completely overwhelmed at the thought of taking care of another family member when resources were scrapings from the dirt floor. The birth went smoothly and soon the mother and father were cuddling their sweet boy, beaming with pride and relieved with his health. And for a couple of days they remained there in the clean clinic with cheerful turquoise walls, but after those days they had to hike back up to their mountain hut and carry on with life as they knew it.  She didn’t dream of giving her cupcakes with sprinkles on his first birthday or a shiny new tricycle; I imagine she hoped to be able to feed her boy and help him grow into a strong young man. Isn’t that what we all hope?

Nearly 15 years later I find myself with 2 little boys of my own and living in Switzerland. I have experienced miscarriage, having a sick baby and many a medical procedure but all with the best medical care and resources at my fingertips.  Sometimes living in Switzerland I fail to see any need. It’s clear that providing meals and clean clothes here is not the primary struggle but I bet there are moms that struggle with Postpartum depression, have babies that don’t breastfeed like they had hoped and struggle with sick children that they can’t make well. Moms around the globe have the same heart to have healthy, happy children. I am reminded of the quote from Ravi Zacharias’s book “Recapture the Wonder”, “To think that he was once a baby, held in the arms of his mother while she dreamed great dreams for him”. What would it look like for moms around the globe to have their dreams become a reality instead of losing their little ones to preventable diseases?  Zacharias goes on to write, “A baby throbbing with life is embodied promise. The birth day gives birth to more than a life-it gives birth to new hopes”.

ABC news has launched a Million Moms Challenge in conjunction with the United Nations Foundation. World Moms Blog Bloggers are getting involved to spread the word.  They are looking to raise awareness for mother’s and children’s health around the world. It is super easy to sign their petition and for the first 100,000 that that sign up Johnson & Johnson will donate $1. This money will be used to provide for the needs of mothers and children to give them things like vaccines. (The vaccines I cringe about but save my children’s lives!)  I often feel like there isn’t much I can do…this seems like a simple way to help! Just click here to sign the petition and read more about the situations of mothers and children around the globe.

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Back woods boys

For those of you that are on facebook these pics will be BORING!  But for those that aren’t I thought I would share a few pictures from our little woods adventure last Sunday evening. Around 3 pm we decided that our kids were far too Guh-rumpy to take to church. They were both run down, over-tired and not quite nursery and Sunday school material if you know what I mean. An evening service just sometimes doesn’t jive with tots, though we make our best effort to be there as much as possible. So we stayed home, took a hike into the woods in our neighborhood and made some spaghetti because that is down right soul food for Jackson. It was a very calm evening and just what we all needed.

Side note: growing up in a pastor’s home we NEVER missed church unless we were really sick. There wasn’t some strick law set it was just that that is what our family did. I am thankful my parents set an example for us of being plugged into a group of believers.  As an adult I am learning that it really is okay to take times of rest with our family. It feel unconventional and I debate, but there are evenings when it does our family, and our souls good to step back and rest!














































































this was just before Seth yelled “you can let go!”, anticipating that Jackson is all of his 4 yr old wisdom would know how and when to drop. It wasn’t pretty but he brushed it off.




















Have a nice weekend! Get outside if it is nice!!! Fresh air is doing us so much good! (esp knowing the snow is coming soon…we can see the white getting lower and lower on the mountains)

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