Camping & Planning Retreat

Lake Salamonie, In. We are camping Oct 5-10th. I will update this post as the days progress.

Day 1: (Tues) Set up camp and ran to Walmart for a few forgotten things. Ate at ‘Ninja Sushi’ because we were hangry. Josh got me ‘campsite pumpkins’ because #fall .

Meriah’s goals for this week:

  • Plan sermon series thru Easter
  • Plan music & specials thru Easter
  • Plan Sunday school
  • Plan kids min ideas for specials
  • Read for enjoyment and for my spirit
  • Rest
  • Pray

Josh’s goals for this week:

  • Fish
  • Read
  • Cook from the dutch oven
  • Nature trails and identifying plants

Day 2: (wed) woke up around 8am. Did some organizing in our camper. Sat by the fire. Went into town (Huntington) for some supplies (yes including 1 more pumpkin), started details for Fall Harvest OCT 31 and ate at a tasty Mexican restaurant! Now I’m sitting at the fire planning an Advent sermon series.

Josh is currently hiking while I work.

day ended with me convincing Josh to watch my favorite Bollywood film

Day 3: (Thurs) I cooked us breakfast (pancakes, eggs, bacon). Ran to Walmart (wabash) for supplies for Josh to go hiking Saturday. I read a lot of scripture!

Josh made us burgers for supper.

Day 4: (fri) Josh got up early and sat by the fire while I slept in. He went for a walk and I cooked breakfast (waffles & bacon). After breakfast, we talked about life goals and where want to go. Our conversation led to exciting projects and cool ideas to look forward to in the future. Josh and I then picked out music for sunday’s through Christmas.

We went for a walk on a 1 mile trail before running to Fort Wayne best buy to look at laptops. (no success) we did find a biaggis (italian restaurant with great gluten free food).

i cracked down on work: finished planning sermons and basic details through February (transfiguration Sunday).

goal update

Meriah’s goals for this week:

Plan sermon series thru Easter (currently through epiphany)
Plan music & specials thru Easter( currently through Christmas)
Plan Sunday school
Plan kids min ideas for specials
Read for enjoyment and for my spirit (some)
Rest (lots of sleeping in)
Pray (lots)

Josh’s goals:

Fish ☑️
Read☑️
Cook from the dutch oven☑️
Nature trails ☑️and identifying plan⏰

Day 5: (sat)

Josh is gonna hike a 14.1 mile trail. HE DID IT!!!

While he hiked 1/2 a marathon, I showered, did dishes, cleaned up our camper, cooked bacon for our sandwiches, read all RCL lent passages, refilled our water jug. I also did some panicking when his phone died on mile 10/14.

when he got back i made him an Ultimate Mac N Cheese sandwich and then we bought his trail patch. We drove into Wabash for slushies and ice cream. On our way back to camp we drove by the Salamonie Dam.

last campfire and a little bit of campsite tear down before we worked on a song rotation through epiphany.

Since Tuesday i have read all 4 RCL passages from Oct 31st- April 10th. I’ve made graphics for fb and ppt slides. josh and i have picked out songs from now through epiphany. i got time to pray, read, walk, fish, cook, and rest.

Day 6: (sun) Come home

Tv survey thing

I saw this little TV survey while wandering the interwebs. I thought I would check it out and reflect on it.

How LOW can you go? Lower than me???

My score is : ___ out of 100🤦🏼‍♀️

You never realize how much/little TV you watch until you fill out a list. Put a 💜 by the shows of which you have watched MORE than ⭐10⭐ episodes.

**I’m adding a ⏱️by the ones I plan to watch some day.

1A. Gen Hospital:
1. Grey’s Anatomy: 💜
2. Stranger Things: 💜 (ALL OF IT!)
3. The Vampire Diaries:
4. The Walking Dead:
5. Fear The Walking Dead:
6. Dexter:
7. American Horror Story:
8. Orange is the New Black:
9. A Million Little Things: :
10. This is Us:
11. The Simpsons:
12. New Amsterdam:
13. Manifest:
14. How To Get Away With Murder:
15. Breaking Bad:
16. SOA:
17. Scandal:
18. Riverdale:
19. The Good Doctor:
20. House of Cards:
21. Once Upon a Time: 💜 I got distracted, may rewatch
22. House: 💜💜💜💜
23. True Detective:
24. Dr. Pimple Popper:
25. Power:
26. Empire:
27. One Tree Hill:
28. Supernatural:
29. Family Guy:
30. Santa Clarita Diet:
31. Shameless:
32. Pretty Little Liars:
33. Secret Life/AmericanTeenager:
34. Bones:
35. Criminal Minds:
36. The 100:
37. Chicago Fire:
38. Chicago Med:
39. The Resident: :
40. Game of Thrones: 💜 (let’s ignore season 8, shall we?)
41. The Big Bang Theory: 💜 I used to love this show, not so sure now
42. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
43. Lost:
44. The Sopranos:
45. NCIS:
46. NCIS Los Angeles:
47. NCIS New Orleans:
48. Law & Order SVU:
49. Gossip Girl:
50. How I Met Your Mother:
51. Blue Bloods: ⏱️I’ve seen a few, it’s on my list to watch
52. Two Broke Girls: ⏱️
53. The Office: 💜 (I’m just meh about the US office)
54. Blacklist:
55. Full House: 💜
56. Fuller House: meh
57. Downton Abbey:💜💜💜
58. Hawaii Five O:
59. Big Mouth:
60. Last Man Standing:
61. Six Feet Under:
62. Wentworth:
63. Friends: 💜meh
64. That 70s Show
65. Girlfriends Guide to Divorce:
66. Heartland:
67. All-American:
68. Greek:
69. Yellowstone:
70. Better Call Saul:
71. You:
72. Rescue Me:
73. Scrubs:
74. Community:
75. Letterkenny: I’ve seen 5 episodes, not for me
76. Kitchen Nightmares:
77. The Masked Singer:
78. Robot Chicken:
79. Vikings: ⏱️I’ve seen a few episodes and want to watch more.
80. Mind Hunter:
81. New Girl: 💜I used to love this, I don’t know if I would anymore if I revisited it.
82. The Good Place:
83. Black Mirror:⏱️ only 3episodes.
83. Lucifer: ⏱️
84. Peaky Blinders:⏱️
85. iZombie:
86. Parks and Rec:⏱️
87. Brooklyn 99:
88. Handmaid’s Tale: ⏱️
89. Modern Family:
90. Smallville:
91. Seinfeld:
92. Gilmore Girls: 💜 loved it but also can’t think too hard about it or I’ll hate it.
93. Charmed:
94. Private Practice:
95. Lost Girl:
96. True Blood:
97. Roswell:
98. Haven:
99. Mad Men:
100. Arrow:

Tv shows not listed that I love:

  1. BBC Sherlock 💜💜
  2. BBC Doctor Who💜💜
  3. BBC Victoria💜💜
  4. West Wing💜💜
  5. Madam Secretary💜
  6. Ms. Koizumi loves ramen noodles (anime)💜
  7. Avatar The Last Airbender💜💜
  8. Wandavision💜
  9. The Great British Bake off💜
  10. The Crown💜
  11. The Umbrella Academy💜
  12. Queer eye💜
  13. Salt fat acid heat💜
  14. Star Trek (original)💜
  15. Dr Quinn Medicine woman💜
  16. The Mandalorian 💜💜💜💜💜💜
  17. The falcon and the winter soldier ⏱️
  18. Good eats 💜
  19. Once upon a time 💜
  20. What we do in shadows 💜

Tv shows not listed with mixed opinions indicated by emoji

  1. Bridgerton 😏🤭😶‍🌫️
  2. Cobra kai 😱
  3. Arrested development 😴😴😴
  4. Anne with an E 🤔🧐😤

Honestly, I don’t watch much tv any more. I spend most of time watching YouTube videos while working.

I catch myself quite particular about my entertainment. I don’t like violence or excessive gore. I don’t like horror, suspense, or jump scares. I naturally gravitate towards rewatching my favorites rather than trying new things.

This silly adventure in a survey may show how much of a predictable creature of habit I am.

Adventures in Japanese donuts

1. mochi donuts — they have tofu?!?

Recipe: https://eatwithjean.com/mochi-donut/?amp=1

Reflections:

  • The dough was too sticky to roll into balls. I added more flour but they were still too sticky. So I coated my hands in cornstarch. That worked but it was hard to regulate ball size.
  • Cooking time varied.
  • If they sit overnight they become quite chewy.
  • I would increase the jelly in the frosting to increase flavor.

Rating: 7/10 would try again with modifications. Would eat again. Very pretty to look at.

2. Mochi donut holes – milk, butter, & vanilla

Recipe: https://keepingitrelle.com/mochi-donuts-recipe/

Reflection:

  • Flavor is quite bland.
  • Texture was tough outside and doughy inside
  • I made the individual balls too big and the temperature of the oil was 350f but cooked the outside too fast and the inside didn’t get finished.
  • I would make the balls smaller & turn down the oil temp to evenly cook the dough.
  • I would also consider adding additional flavoring to the dough. The only flavor that stood out was the sugar (to which I added ginger and cinnamon)

Rating: 5/10 am skeptical but would still try again for curiosity’s sake.

3. Ube donuts – buttermilk & ube flavoring

Recipe: https://thesweetandsourbaker.com/home/2018/2/9/ube-donuts-with-coconut-glaze

Refections:

  • Easiest recipe
  • Josh’s favorite
  • He says it NEEDS some kind of texture. Besides the frosting (thus all the coconut, nuts, etc we tried)
  • Frosting carries a lot of coconut flavor
  • I would consider adding shredded ube into the batter
  • Most cake like of the three
  • Easiest to mass produce
  • Perhaps go super extra by adding a mochi in the middle?
  • Could sweet soy sauce work with this?

Rating: 8/10 planning to experiment more with decorations but best texture and flavor.

UPDATE: additional recipe attempt

I attempted a modification to recipe 1.

Modifications:

  • Added matcha & green food coloring to batter
  • Added more all purpose flour and glutinous rice flour and sugar.
  • Rolled the dough into ‘snakes’ and shaped like a donut
  • Fried at lower temp for same period of time
  • Coated the donut in matcha sugar

Results: not pretty but tasty. ‘snake’ method didn’t work for a donut shape. Still really chewy (think fried donut from a fair)

Silly food survey

“CAN I TAKE YOUR ORDER?”

• STARBUCKS- venti iced caramel latte decalf w/ almond milk

• SUBWAY – 6″ italian herb & cheese, chicken, bacon, pepper jack cheese, ranch, spinach, green pepper, black olive, & tomato (but only if they look good)

• McDonald’s – either a 2 cheese burger ketchup only w/ diet coke or a chicken nugget meal w/ ranch & diet coke

• CHICK FIL A – no need for hate chicken

• CHINESE – honestly, just egg rolls & crab rangoons. My fave used to be cashew chicken or moo goo gai pan but I can’t find a place that makes it like my fave back home and that place closed down.

• MEXICAN – typically shrimp/chicken fajitas, occasionally aroz con pollo, rarely a chicken quesadilla

• SUSHI- tiger roll, spicy tuna, and rainbow roll, edamame, miso soup, and hot tea (maybe some gyoza too)

• Pizza- buffalo chicken w/ ranch (no onion) or if I’m building one- sausage, green pepper, mushroom, black olive

• WINGS -teriyaki, parmesan garlic, honey bbq, or buffalo (Filling station!)

• SONIC – chili cheese coney or popcorn chicken w/ tater tots and ranch, diet cherry limeaid

•WENDY’S – 4 for $4 jr bacon cheese burger, ranch, & orange fanta

• DAIRY QUEEN – mini butterfinger or oreo or cookie dough blizzard (local dq don’t do food well, just ice cream)- ‘Scoups’ & ‘Cone Palace’ are better

• CANDY – chocolate of most forms (no coconut), rarely do I want fruity stuff, never sour

• ICECREAM – depends, it’s usually in the form of a milkshake. ‘Boom chocolatta’ by ben & jerries is delicious

• CHIPS – depends doritos, cheetos, sour cream & cheddar, 🤔🤔🤔

*CAKE – #1 no nuts or chopped fruit, spice cake, coffee cake, jello poke cake, or “better than sex cake”

*Schlotzsky’s- dont remember

*Texas Roadhouse: sirloin steak med rare, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli (Josh’s steaks are better)

*Olive Garden: depends, sometimes I do soup/salad bc zoupa tuscana is delicious but also ❣️❣️ravioli or tortellini. Love stuffed pasta. (Ps Martino’s is better)

*Outback Steakhouse: don’t remember, similar to Texas Roadhouse (Josh’s steaks are better)

*Applebees: they used to have a thai shrimp salad that was delicious! Otherwise I stick to their appetizers

Can’t wait to see what different things everyone orders 😅

Silly cooking survey

Who can really cook? No boxed Mac N Cheese or Stouffer’s lasagna. I know there are several of you that can really cook.
I look forward to seeing your surveys.
Who can cook real food, not stuff prepackaged or in a box?

HAVE YOU EVER?
1. Made biscuits from scratch? 🤔🤔I do t think so
2. Fried fresh okra? No
3. Made sourdough bread? I’ve made Amish friendship bread, which is a fermented bread.
4. Fried chicken? No, but I’ve fried tofu
5. Made spaghetti sauce from scratch? No
6. Made any kind of yeast bread? Yes
7. Baked a cake from scratch? Yes
8. Made icing from scratch? Yes
9. Cooked a pot roast with all the veggies? No
10. Made chili from scratch? Yes
11. Made a meatloaf? No
12. Made scalloped potatoes? No
13. Made mac/cheese from scratch? Yes
14. Made a jello salad? Yes
15. Made peanut brittle? No but I’ve made toffee
16. Made fudge? Bo
17. Made cookies from scratch? Yes
18. Cooked a pot of beans from dried beans? No
19. Cooked a pot of greens? No
20. Made cornbread from scratch? Yes
21. Make a pie dough from scratch? Yes
22. Cooked a whole turkey? Yes
23. Snapped green beans and cooked them? Yes
24. Made mashed potatoes from scratch? Yes
25. What’s the most people you have prepared a whole meal for? I’ve helped prep a meal for 60+
26. Poached an egg? No
27. Made pancakes from scratch? Yes
28. Roasted vegetables in the oven instead of boiling them? Yes
29. Made fresh pasta? Yes
30. Made croissants from scratch? No
31. Made tuna salad? Yes
32. Fried fish? No
33. Made baked beans? No
34. Made ice cream from scratch? Yes
35. Made jam or jelly? No
36. Zested an orange or lemon? Yes (and have scars to prove it)
37. Made grits from scratch? No
38. Made an omelet? Yes
39. Lived in a house without a dishwasher? Yes, now
40. Eaten a bowl of cereal for supper? Yes

I would love to see your answers.

Reflection: honestly, a lot of my “no’s” are because I don’t prefer that thing, so I’ve never tried. We also eat more ethnic food than classic American soul food.

I can cook a lot of items that are not on this list. Mexican, japanese, chinese, italian, or french are my go to flavors. Very rarely do I leave the recipe as is, typically I take a recipe and modify it for our preferences.

This list is also quite skimpy on other things that are my skills. A baking list would be much better for me. Donuts, japanese taiyaki, japanese mochi, truffles (including keto fat bombs), shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, molasses cookies, oatmeal cookies, brownie cookies, cake mix cookies, brownies from scratch (and terrible diet brownies), hard candies, home made caramels, caramel sauce, and more.

Also I’ve tried making recipes for special diets. I’ve adapted tons recipes for keto, weight watchers, and vegetarian. I’ve used instapots, air fryers, crock pots, deep friers, george foreman grills, cast iron and more.

Thanks, now I’m hungry. 🥩🥦🍕🍤🍠🍩🍪🍳

Another 2020 Bingo & our Christmas letter

As we all know, 2020 has not been the best year – and that is an extreme understatement. For Josh and I it was super important to start 2020 getting married. We have to say that was our best decision of the year.

Though we had to postpone our honeymoon for an unknown future date, we have been able to start off our first year of marriage learning how to depend on each other and grow as a couple.

Both of us have explored many hobbies during this year: Meriah has enjoyed sewing, crocheting, baking, painting, rearranging furniture and painting rooms, making wreaths, and decorating for the holidays; with a new hobby of playing video games. Josh has explored many hobbies as well. Some hobbies he explored included home brewing hard cider, mead, and kombucha. Oh, and he made homemade cheese a couple times! That was tasty! The main hobbies being blacksmithing and woodworking, writing, cooking, C# coding, and much more.

We got chickens. Yes, chickens. On a rather spur-of-the-moment trip to Rural King we adopted six baby chickens and Josh built a chicken coop. We later adopted three more. Though they did not stay with us permanently. Shout out to Daniale and DJ for helping us simplify our flock. We also had bunnies for a while, intending to be meat rabbits, but then we also had a short period of time exploring being vegetarians and ethical carnivores. In the end, we are enjoying some beef from my South Dakota family – and trying to make wiser choices with our eating habits by purchasing locally or directly from farmers as much as possible.

For those keeping track we now have five chickens who all lay eggs and are excited to bless others with those eggs. We have five cats. We also have two dogs. We joke that we are somewhere in between a zoo and a farm. We do have dreams of owning a homestead hobby farm one day.. We will see what the future holds.

In the spring and early summer Meriah was predominantly in a digital church format that pushed her creativity and technology capabilities to the limit. Pastoring a church is difficult when you are separated from each other – nor is it easy to make wise choices about keeping people safe when it’s hard to find consistent information. However, our church has been fortunate and so far we have not had devastating cases of COVID-19. One benefit of being part of a rural church is that our exposure is decreased, but it still has made a challenge for worshipping and feeling God move.

For the last couple months, Josh has been working through TEK Systems at SMC in Noblesville. He does tech things that are way over my head but is very much so appreciated for his good hard work by the company. Meriah only ever hears positive things about Josh from his work. He is also continuing to learn more skills in the tech world that could enable him to diversify his job opportunities.

More recently Josh has helped with music at the church and Meriah is extremely grateful. The last two Sundays we have sang together and he played guitar. It has been a beautiful experience. Meriah struggles to express what a blessing it is having him by her side; professionally, personally and in every way.

As we take time to reflect on 2020, the initial thoughts are: “boo this year has been a dumpster fire!” It’s easy to think of the negative things that have happened this year, including: toilet paper shortages, wildfires, killer wasps, and socially distanced worship settings to name a few. All of those things are awful – but when we look back on it, we genuinely see the people who haven’t given up on us. We see people who have continued to enrich our lives in creative ways as we have gone through this weird, hard, growing type of year. We leave it thinking we are blessed and grateful for our family, friends, and the place we live.

Yes, Christmas letters are frequently only about the positive. We don’t expose our dirty laundry. There were definitely hard moments. We both have made mistakes and are working to grow as humans. We both are learning how to communicate and love both each other, our community, and our God better. 2020 hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, but we want to take gratitude into 2021.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year from the Tigner King family. We hope it won’t be too long before we hug you again.

Love from the Tigner Kings ❤️

Sewing afternoon

We relaxed after lunch this afternoon and then Josh played some video games and I sat down to a Star Wars prequel marathon and some sewing.

Humorously enough, I had Star Wars fabric… multiple in fact… Yet I didn’t think to use that.

I needed to make something that wasn’t a mask for a minute.

Not pictured is a pikachu bag and the beginning stages of my first potholder.

Also not pictured is about 100 masks cut out and ready to be sewed.

Thanksgiving & a Sewing Afternoon

I have three styles I make:

Originally I used ribbons for ties but I now have elastic and adjustable beads.

For interested parties I also add fog filters and nose support.

UPDATE: here’s what I’ve made in the past few hours

Headboard day 2

We put another afternoon into our headboard. We’ve continued to adapt our plans as we’ve seen progress.

We adjusted some of the cuts as the tight fit moved things around a little.

We realized we needed some supplies so we made a quick trip to Lowe’s for some Boiled Linseed Oil, sponges, and french cleats. As of right now, we’re considering using the french cleats as our mount to the wall.

We will let this try and then possibly add some pyrography of stars and a moon to the sky. First I’m going to do some test designs on a piece of scrap wood.

When the oil dries completely, we plan to add stains to sky and peaks. Then when that dries we will add the finishes.

As we assembled this project we realized the amount of weight was going to be more than we anticipated. We plan to add a brace to the back and use french cleats for mounting as they distribute the weight of an object evenly across a wall.

I am really excited to see the finished product and get it on our wall. Our current headboard is not comfortable for sitting up, leaning, & reading in bed.

One step closer!