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Here are some exterior views of our soon-to-be rental house (for those of you who missed the initial informative post, click here).

The front:

(I love this door. It's really wide and I love the color.):

Around back, the little carport and covered patio (the windows directly behind that little orange tree are the windows into the covered patio)

A little side yard, all the way around back and to the other side of the house:

A little patio off of the sideyard (those open windows are the other side of the covered patio I mentioned above):

And a few of the citrus trees out front (aren't they cute?):

And another fantastic thing about our new place - really, we can hardly contain our excitement about this part - is that we FINALLY get a BLUE RECYCLE TRASHCAN! (Hanford just got these for residential areas in the last 6 months or so, and apartments don't have them at all. We've long been mourning our inability to recycle everyday household items such as cereal boxes and milk cartons, but that's all in the past now.)

Feel free to let us know what you think!

The Cheesiest

Let's get right down to it: I married well. Very well. And for a large variety of reasons, too, not the least of which are my husband's continual (and amazing) love and care toward me AND all the fun we have together every single day. Yes, these are just a few of my favorite things about my beloved. But there is another perk to being a Pensiero. Ahh, yes, the perk of a lifetime:


That's right, folks. The Pensieros have a cheesecake recipe that is completely drool-worthy. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners take on a whole new aura.

Now, as it is not my recipe, I am never responsible for making the dessert of honor and thus I have never really had occasion to do so. Oh sure, I have the recipe in my family recipe box thanks to my lovely mother-in-law, but I've never ventured as far as taking it out of said box and doing something with it. Mostly out of fear and intimidation. But a few weeks ago, as Valentine's day approached, I decided that now was as good a time as any. After making the crust and whipping up all the cheesy ingredients, I poured the batter into the springform, only to find that it was rather full. (Wouldn't it rise a bit in the oven?) Eerily full. (Maybe it won't rise very much...) Worrisomely full. (I hope the gas oven doesn't burst into rogue flames when the cheesecake rises.)

After 30 minutes in the oven and a brief consultation with my father-in-law (he's the cheesecake recipe inheriter and chef), I decided that it would be all right, that it would not spill out into my oven helter skelter. But what I could not decide was how long I should cook the little puppy in my overly eager oven. This oven cooks EVERYTHING in half the time, at 50 degrees lower than suggested. Seriously. It's Dante's Inferno in there.

So, I just gave it my best shot. Having never made any cheesecake before, I had no idea how to test it for it's doneness. The only indication I had was the top, and that was browning like my italian husband on a summer day. And considering my oven's lack of consistency, I knew I couldn't trust the timing on the recipe card. So what did I do?

I winged it. And you know what? It wasn't terrible. I mean, the center was rather soft, but the outer edges were FULLY fork-edible. We left that cheesecake in the pan and went to town (pictures misplaced).

And that's the cheesecake saga.

The welcome mat is coming out...


(But I guess we'll need to buy a welcome mat first.) Good news:


And you're all invited to get excited about it! We sure are. The Lord has really blessed us with this new development in our lives - it goes something like this:

As geno and I were looking into/praying about/thinking about possibly one day maybe someday buying a house, we were approached by a couple in our church who asked if we would be interested in renting a house from them. We certainly weren't opposed to the idea and as we began to pray about it, the Lord kept closing the buying doors and opening up these doors. (Thanks, Jesus!) So we went over there today to check out the place and talk to our prospective landlords and, wouldn't you know it, we are in love with the place. Among the many, many great things about this house and the situation in general, there is one thing that has me more excited than anything else: fruit. That's right, fruit. Meyer lemons, oranges, apricots (swoon!), grapes, blackberries (double swoon!!), and pears. It's a little "country" house on just over half an acre, but not really very far into the country. I mean, there's an apartment complex about 400 yards away on one side and a large church about a half-mile away on the other side.

We didn't get a chance to take any pictures yet, but we hope to do so tomorrow or sometime very soon. Rest assured, we'll show them to you. But for now we're just getting excited. I mean, we'll miss Beryl's newsletters, but I think we'll make it.

Happy Happy BIRTHDAY


Guess who turns 25 TODAY!!

Here he is enjoying one of his favorite Disneyland
past times - the pretend guns in Frontierland.

Happy Birthday Geno! I love you more every single day.

Go on over to his blog to wish him a happy day!

Shoulda Woulda Coulda


I was about to blog about the virtuous and jocular (if not ridiculous) newsletters we receive semi-monthly at our apartment complex, but then I remembered that our scanner is broken.

So then I thought I would just blog about some recent student artwork, but then I remembered that our scanner is broken.

THEN I realized that I would have to come up with something original to blog about which, at the moment, seems impossible. For no reason, really, other than I've been forgetting about blogging almost entirely recently. You've noticed. But first let's get down to something that's been bugging me - why is our scanner broken?

The sad little piece is less than a year old, is a major national brand and has never been through any distressing situations. It merely sits on our desk, waiting to be used. Why oh why, then, would it be subject to such a terrible fate so early in it's quasi-promising career? The printer's not broken. The buttons aren't broken. But the scanner - the scanner is in utter disrepair. I just loathe buying replacements for things that ought not be broken.

It's times like these that I just want to smash it up ala those guys on those shows who destroy things for no reason. I won't, because the printer still works like a champ, and that would just be really wasteful. But once the printer gives up the ghost I won't be making any such promises...