Family, Featured, Marriage
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20 Years and Hot Pineapple Salsa

“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm.” – Song of Songs 8:6

Wasn’t I in my teens just yesterday? Didn’t I style my hair with arcing, 5 inch bangs, wear the original skinny jeans with leg warmers, cheer, ” R.E.S.P.E.C.T.,” for Broadrun Highschool and have a crush on the consumate Mullet Boy who sat behind me in Algebra 1 just yesterday? Except for those nights I drop into bed at night from parenting, I still feel 20! 🙂 Last week, Daniel and I celebrated 20 years of marriage! We are taking our big trip to celebrate in the spring; I am hoping for somewhere hot, beachy, with tropical hikes and killer Pina Coladas. In honor of 20 years together…

This little girl with a white fro from northern Indiana Amish country was born and her father, contrary to his Mennonite upbringing, joined the U.S. Air Force and traveled across the seas, far and wide.Fro

She became a young woman.

graduation pic

At the same time (Give or take five years :-)), a robust, English farm boy was born…


He grew strong and good hearted on a farm, tucked away in the English countryside, full of blowing, jade green heads of sugar beet, the tufty, fat backs of sheep, like scoops of clotted cream dropped from above, and dark soil, which held treasure (If you’re curious, look up The Mildenhall Treasure).


Laurie and Daniel were married by two incredible men in England, where they met. One of these men, Tom Chipper, is now in heaven, but he tenderly influenced who they would become.

Men signing wedding

IMG_0015_2Before they knew it, the years ticked by, and 1 kid became 7! Like mushroom soup that falls in a giant cylinder out of the can on a night when Mama is fried, that is the condensed version of our story. 🙂

Love my family

Photo: Cynthia Miller

As it turns out, the same “attraction- glue” that has held us together can be quite combustable, like Italian lovers arguing in the Piazza! Lol. How have we made this passionate, crazy, opposites in some big ways, identical in other big ways, very male, very female, beautiful story….. last?

I’m sure I could think of a more comprehensive list, but these are six basics that came to mind right away. And, as I list these, please know, we work at these; we haven’t mastered them.

1. We encourage each others interests and passions. The first picture below is us hiking in Estes Park.

Estes2. We cultivate passion (Yes, I just said that on a public blog, lol). We make a weekly date, “40 year old flirting,” letting each other know when the other looks good and staying in shape a priority.

3. We have a lot of fun being goofy and laughing together. While we certainly enjoy this, sometimes, when life feels heavy, we have to work at it. The next picture is us being crazy in a photo booth.

Bring Goofy4. We try to talk through needs and forgive each other quickly. Hooooo Baby! This one is NOT easy, because when I’m right….. Wellllllll, duh, I’m right! Lol.

5. We are moving the same direction/ have the same vision in life. This doesn’t always come naturally in how the details play out but we align our direction. Sometimes, this takes a lot of conversation.

6. And, most importantly, we have spent the last 20 years, often, on our knees.


Hot Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

This is good to do on a night when you are already using your charcoal grill for your dinner meat. Also, there is very low sugar in the sauce and so it is fine for Vibrant Life followers in this recipe.

My husband loves my salsa, he particularly likes all things pineapple and he’s hot. 🙂

So, this week, I decided to concoct a creative combo just for him.

  • 1 large pineapple (the huge ones are usually found at Costco or Sams)
  • 1 jar of Hak’s BBQ Sauce, Thai Chili Tamarind (Found at King Soopers which is a Kroger store)
  • 1 28 Oz. can of fire roasted, Muir Glen diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • Up to 3 jalapeños
  • 1 large bundle of Cilantro, rinsed
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  1. On a charcoal grill, grill five very fat slices of pineapple, very lightly basted in the sauce. Go very easy on the sauce; it is hot! When they are soft and a deeper golden color, remove.
  2. In a quality blender (do this while the pineapple is grilling), mix together for 30 seconds: can of tomatoes, large onion, 1 jalapeño, whole bundle of cilantro and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Once that is pureed, add the five grilled slices of pineapple and blend again for 30 seconds. Taste test with chips.
  3. Add additional jalapeños, 1/2 of one at a time until it has the desired heat. Finally, add salt to taste.
  4. Serve this immediately, warm, with tortilla chips. For Vibrant Life Followers, use this salsa on your grilled chicken or with cut up veggies as a dip. When Daniel tried it, he declared, “This is the best salsa you have ever made!”

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