Friday, October 30, 2009

a day to celebrate

October 28th was a pretty special yet sad day. It was special for 2 specific reasons.
The first reason is that it was National Chocolate Day, and I celebrated by eating a brownie that was as thick as 2 deck of cards and could barely fit in my mouth. To answer the question that you're dying to know, yes it was warm and chunky!
The second reason is that my Grandfather got to meet Jesus! Selfishly I want him here, but then I get jealous because he is having the best time of his life for eternity! I miss him like crazy, and I know that the hard emotions that have will crack when I head down there next weekend. Wanted to let you know so you can be praying for my family during this difficult time, but also so you can celebrate with us knowing he's in heaven! I know he probably celebrated National Chocolate Day up there! PapaA loves him some sweets!
(Pic: My brother Nathan & PapaA)


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the ultimate provider

I have a constant struggle of wanting to be in control of situations.  In the stupid things to things that matter…like: what time I wake up, putting shoes up, a schedule, unloading the dishwasher, family, etc.. (We could probably make a long list.) Recently, a new dear friend of mine Carolyn gave me a bookmark with the names of God. With my kids at church we have gone over this, but for some reason I have neglected making it an importance in my life. It’s pretty cool to pray to God with the specific name that you can relate to. Going back to my struggle with being in control; I'm constantly learning that he is the ultimate provider. No matter what I do or how I want it done, it is all His. So, I'm becoming very close to Jehovah Jireh, my provider!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

it's hard to run toward Jesus with a twinkie in your hand.

My YoungLife girls and I have been doing a study on Frances Chan's, Crazy Love. The book creates a great image of what it looks like to be totally in Love with Jesus. (A special thanks to my dear friend Linnae!) This Summer, when I first read it, I had a convicting yet joyous time reading it. I think my High School friends would say the same. There was this one part of the chapter that we were just studying that just made us all laugh, but created a great image of truth in our heads. I had to share it so you could experience the same.
"Imagine going for a run while eating a box of Twinkies. Besides being self-defeating and sideache-inducing, it would also be near impossible—you would have to stop running in order to eat the Twinkies.
In the same way, you have to stop loving and pursuing Christ in order to sin. When you are pursuing love, running toward Christ, you do not have opportunity to wonder, Am I doing this right? Or Did I serve enough this week? When you are running toward Christ, you are freed up to serve, love, and give thanks without guilt,worry,or fear. As long as you are running, you are safe.

But running is exhausting—if, that is, we are running from sin or guilt, out of fear. (Or if we haven't run in a while.) However, if we train ourselves to run toward our Refuge, toward Love, we are free—just as we are called to be." -Frances Chan's, Crazy Love pg.104

Friday, October 23, 2009

1 in 8

1 in 8 women will have breast cancer! Can you believe that? I think about that a lot when I’m at meetings for work. I think about how the American Cancer Society is the best kept secret, and it shouldn’t be. I think about the people that walk through our doors everyday needing HOPE. Today at a Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon I noticed myself counting down the row 8 people…we had over 60 people there. So, 7-8 people will be diagnosed that were in that room. Isn’t that unbelievable? 

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Uses for Old Things

I like to say that I’m a very organized person. However, to help motivate me I am a subscriber to REAL SIMPLE magazine. Each month they usually highlight “New Uses for Old Things”. I always enjoy reading that for two reasons. First, I kick myself for not thinking of that, and second they always give you, “the ah ha use”. So, I found a link on their site: “50 All-Time Favorite New Uses for Old Things”. 5-0 WHAT! You have to be kidding. Now, I’m going to want to do all sorts of crazy stuff like saving Easter Eggs, keeping old toilet paper rolls, save my old toothbrush, make a necklace out of staples. I mean who knows! But really here are some that I thought were pretty good.

I have seen My Aunt Margaret do this with her boys. It helps them grip their glass, and you can use different colors so they can always find their glass. (ah-ha)

Ok this makes me a little nervous, but I think I might need to try this! Use your straingtening iron for your hair to get in between the buttons of your shirt. (ah-ha)

Aaron actually taught me this trick. When you're painting wrap your brush with a plastic bag put it in the freg, and it will still be in good use the next time you need it. So, instead of having 3 brushes you get to use one! (ah-ha)

Y'all know me, I love a party. Fill a colander with ice, and place a bowl underneath it so your guest only get ice. (ah-ha)

Ok, I leave you with this one. I don't know if I can do this, but I love a perfectly round pancake! Rinse out your old ketchup bottle and fill it up with your pancake batter to have the perfect pancake. (ah-ha)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

long sleeves can be optional

The other day my dear friend Britney and I did a little shopping. As we were shopping I realized that I have a huge thing for a good cardigan. I’m really not sure how many I have, but that is beside the point, I always look at them in any store. I think I like the idea of not having to be fully committed to long sleeves. The sleeves become optional; if I get hot I take it off, if I get cold I put it on. It’s quite simple. Sometimes I like just the plain ones, and other times I like the more decorative ones (just depending on my mood). I’ve decided that there are 3 things that should be essential to every female:
  1. Chapstick
  2. A pair of red flats
  3. A good cardigan
It really is true, and you know it. Here is my pick for a fabulous cardigan from Anthropologie. Aaron if you’re reading this, the Holidays are rapidly approaching! Happy Shopping!

Monday, October 12, 2009

19 miles, birthday bash, & prize worthy stew

This was a weekend of wonderful events.
First, Rebekah and I conquered a 19 mile run with the help of some dear people Kristi, Ross, and Aaron. Without their support and encouragement it would have been much more difficult! It's funny how you start to appreciate the little things during those runs. Such as: water, snacks, good socks, conversations, shoes…good shoes, toenails, a bathroom, or even ground. I probably could go on and on, but that is off the top of my head. Just lost the first toenail from this training, and I never thought that I would say that it's a relief to have it gone!

(Aaron met us in the most dangerous part of run, and took a photo op of us.)
We celebrated Aaron's "29" Birthday on Saturday. We had a great time having lots of friends over eating, watching football, and celebrating. I told Aaron that next year his Birthday will be even bigger because not only will it be his GOLDEN Birthday (10-10-10), but when you add up his GOLDEN Birthday it is "30", which is what he is turning! Is that not crazy?!? We might need to make sure the Rebels get that message next year though!
Last year, I discovered a few recipes for a Carolina Brunswick Stew. After playing around with it I came up with own version. This ended up being one of Aaron's favorite things, so it was our main course for the party. I had the best of intentions of taking pictures at the party…but I was a little busy. Then I meant to snag a pic of the Stew to share, but y'all, no kidding, not a bite left! I made 2 stockpots full, and cooked it over night, and it was all gone! So this is a fall must have! I'm sharing my secrets here, so bon appetite!
Brunswick Stew

  • 1 Small Sweet Potato- cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 c. Yellow Onion- thinly sliced
  • 1 c. Frozen Corn Kernels
  • 1 c. Frozen Lima Beans
  • 2 cans of Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 cans of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 slices of Turkey Bacon- cooked & chopped
  • ½ c. Ketchup
  • 2 TBS. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 TBS. BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken- from the store and shred the chicken (no skin/bone)
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • ½ tsp. Red Pepper
  • S&P to taste 
  • Combine first 10 ingredients over Medium heat & bring to a boil, or if cooking over night cook for 4 hours on high in crock-pot. Reduce heat to a simmer & continue to cook until potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes). Stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining ingredients and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, or if over night add remaining ingredients and continue to cook on low, in the am switch to“warm".

Monday, October 5, 2009

the great pumpkin

I just went to Kroger to pick up the weekly groceries. My mission while I was there was to pick up some small pumpkins, indian corn, and/or gourds. Of course, there was none. However, they had 3 huge pumpkins. Ok, when I say huge, I mean bigger than Biscotti curled in a ball asleep. I thought to myself, "I must have one of those huge pumpkins!” I immediately walked over toward them. As I looked down at the price tag I thought it was joke it said: $99.99! What! That's $100 for a pumpkin that I'm just going to throw away immediately after Thanksgiving. So, I walked toward the other 2 pumpkins...$99.99. I'm sorry that is out of control. I thought this only existed in Charlie Brown's The Great Pumpkin! I need to watch that this year.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

pumpkin eater

As promised a fall recipe! This one comes from the kitchen of Martha Carter. She shared this with me about 3 years ago, and has pretty much become a staple fall item at our house. This is my 3rd batch so far since September 1st. Is that sad? Aaron and I think it will make any anti-pumpkin eater do flips. Trust me I hate pumpkin pie, and I think they are just fab. So grab yourself a nice cold glass of milk and enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ c. butter                                                1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ c. sugar                                              1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla                                             ½ tsp. salt
1 egg                                                          1 tsp. nutmeg
1 can pumpkin                                           1 tsp. cinnamon
2 ½ c. flour                                               ½ c. chocolate chips

  • Mix together butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg
  • Mix in the pumpkin
  • Then add the last 6 ingredients (+chocolate chips if desired) and mix well with a spoon
  • Chill in refrigerator while oven warms to 350°
  • Drop by teaspoon on a cookie sheet, bake 15 minutes
*Just a tip: baking soda makes your cookies "spread", baking powder makes your cookies "puff". See how this one calls for equal portions of both? So, you can cook these cookies fairly close together on your cookies sheet.

Friday, October 2, 2009

mum's the word

Now it’s officially that time of year. It’s the time where I take out all my Spring/Summer flowers, and replace them with my Fall/Winter. This year I had Impatient & Vinca overload. Out of all of my Spring plants they went crazy! My hanging baskets on our front porch are still exploding. Even though we are officially in Fall I’m leaving them up, because they look so pretty.
To me, Mum’s are the official flower of the Fall. Fall is probably one of my favorite seasons, so last year I told myself that we had to do lots of Mum’s! Well, after all of the planting, sweating, watering, fertilizing, and de-heading they lasted till the first of December. Luckily we also planted Dusty Millers, Dianthus, and Pansies. I was so mad, so this year I will not be going through that trouble. I’m only doing flowers that go from Fall to Winter. I went ahead and pulled up a few of the Summer blooms, and planted the Dianthus and Pansies.

Hope to get the rest of the yard done over the next few weeks! It’s a lot of work to use the green thumb! Can’t wait to share some of my favorite Fall recipes. Can’t wait to make Beer Chili!... Don’t worry I’ll share! Happy Fall!

(Looks like the Lantana are blooming.)