Thursday, December 30, 2010

Love Never Fails

I have started this post with about 20 different intro paragraphs and none of them seemed right. Since that is the case, I will keep it short and to the point: I am very restless at this time in the year and in my life, but thank goodness I have a blog where I can let it all out!

God has placed me in the family I'm in and planned it that way since the foundation of the world. He knew the struggles and drama that would eventually ensue. He knows it is where I am supposed to be, for His glory. I don't want to get into all the personal details on here, just know that it has been a trying time with many difficult conversations. We have had this issue come up in times past but it just keeps coming up. I know God will help me get through this and also help me to deal with the situation better. Because I sure know that I can't do this on my own. Left to my own devises, things don't always end pretty.

Another reason for being antsy is the coming new year. It is less than 2 days away and I am looking forward to all that God has planned for it. I'm excited to be participating in the 'Siesta Scripture Memory Team' challenge for 2011. What's funny is last week I was thinking about the first verse that I'll be memorizing in January. I didn't have one in mind yet so I prayed that God would show me what verse I need to be meditating on at this time. It wasn't too long after that the situation with my family left me in disarray. I inherited my father's temper so my behavior was anything but loving. It was that evening that I was praying and having my quiet time with God that these words popped in my head

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,but have not love, it profits me nothing." - 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

God was sure to tell me that I really need to remember that I must love others, even those who are difficult and mean. Boy is it hard, but with His strength I know I can do it.

After that verse, on every other night this week, God has given me another verse to add to my list to memorize and meditate on. It's exciting to have Him directing my paths. I may stumble but He is right there helping me to get back up and move forward. He is always there to love and instruct. That is why this scripture memory team is going to be so great. I love how Beth put it:

"Look at it this way: you’re going to be meditating on something: unforgiveness, toxic memories, misery, lust, greed, dissatisfaction, jealousy, competition. Choose Scripture! Christ Himself said as a man thinks, so is he. He also said His words are spirit and life. This is work worth doing, Sweet Thing. Never – NOT ONCE – have I ever known anyone to get to the end of a Scripture memory commitment and say that it didn’t make any real difference. Not a single time.".

So I am rooting and raring to go for the Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2011 challenge to begin! I have my verses ready and my mini 3-ring binder ready. If you can't find a cute mini binder like mine, Beth is offering a free PDF file of the official SSMT spiral notebook on her website. That way you can print the pages from home and put it together with a spiral spine or a punch a hole and add a ring. Either way, God is going to be doing amazing things in my life and anyone else who decides to take this challenge. Will you?!

Monday, December 20, 2010

'Tis the Season

This has go to be one of the best Christmases in years! No stressful trips to the mall. No waiting in enormous lines to ship packages. Just enjoying the festivities and plays that celebrate our Savior.

It has truly been a blessed Christmas. This is me signing off until after the holidays when I can finally show you my Christmas crafting creations (say that 5 times fast). Merry Christmas everyone and God bless!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

{Come Let Us Adore Him}

"How silently, how silently,

The wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of his heaven.

No ear may hear his coming,

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him, still

The dear Christ enters in."
-Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

Christmas time is such a blessing. The parties, the treats, and most importantly the celebration of the birth of our Savior. I have to admit that in past Christmases (and even during the rest of the year) I can be distracted with all the fun and merry making that I neglect the very One that this season is all about!

In recent months I have really been convicted of how I get so distracted with the little things of life and the cares of this world that He is left with what little time and energy I have remaining.

In the story about Mary and Martha, Jesus tells Martha essentially to not worry about all the tasks or projects or other things that seemed so important at the time. What was important was spending time with the Lord and listening to His word.

This Christmas I have made an attempt to not get distracted with all the extra little things of life. Although they may be fun distractions, they are still just that, distractions that eat up our interest, time and strength. Courtney over at Women Living Well, is hosting a 'Peace on Earth' December Challenge, to help us refocus on the real important things in life.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." - John 14:27

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


We are well into week 2 of Advent and celebrating the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Simply stated, advent means “to come.” The season of Advent centers on the coming of Jesus Christ. An Old Testament prophecy speaks directly of His coming:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. -Isaiah 7:14

What is most amazing to me is how from the foundation of this world, God had His plan in place. He knew we would need a Savior. And throughout the old testament, from Genesis to Malachi, His Word gives hints of His eventual coming.

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." -Micah 5:2

"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts." -Malachi 3:1

As a Christian, we see that the person spoken of in the old testament is Jesus, and boy does it make reading the bible mean so much more. He was always there, will always be there, and forevermore will be. He is our Savior who from birth was born to die for us and our sins. I've stumbled upon a very nice devotional sermon pdf to use with you and your family but Jeremy and I have just been reading the verses from the advent paper chain from the blog Spell Out Loud. His Word and His promises are wonderful. I hope your family is enjoying advent too!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gift with Purchase

Since becoming a Christian, Christmas is more meaningful because we get to remember and celebrate the incarnation of Christ. Jesus Christ came on a rescue mission to save us. He came to live the life that we couldn’t and die the death we should. Because of this wonderful news, Christians get to live lives redeemed by Jesus to reflect His glory to the world

In recent months, God has spoken in my heart and told me that we should celebrate Christmas a little differently. Not that giving gifts is wrong, but we can't miss the actual reason for the season. One way to glorify God and bring the focus back on Him this holiday season is to give a gift with purchase. What that means is you give an ornament to the cashier who waits on you, with a bible verse attached to it. In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it's easy to forget or neglect those people. This is sure to bring a smile on some checker's face when you give them a gift.

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." -Isaiah 55:11

Try this new tradition and I know you will enjoy truly celebrating the reason for the season!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

A Thanksgiving Day Prayer

Lord, so often times, as any other day
When we sit down to our meal and pray

We hurry along and make fast the blessing
Thanks, amen. Now please pass the dressing

We're slaves to the olfactory overload
We must rush our prayer before the food gets cold

But Lord, I'd like to take a few minute more
To really give thanks to what I'm thankful for

For my family, my health, a nice soft bed
My friends, my freedom, a roof over my head

I'm thankful right now to be surrounded by those
Whose lives touch me more than they'll ever possibly know

Thankful Lord, that You've blessed me beyond measure
Thankful that in my heart lives life's greatest treasure

That You, dear Jesus, reside in that place
And I'm ever so grateful for Your unending grace

So please, heavenly Father, bless this food You've provided
And bless each and every person invited

Amen! --Scott Wesemann

AMEN! And Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Snow Day

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we were just hit with a blast of winter snow this last week. It never ceases to amaze me that although we know it's coming, it seems we are always caught off guard by the weather. I know for myself, I was grumbling away on Monday as the snow continued to fall. I think it's the part where you have to venture to work or go to the store that it makes the snow not so fun. But thank goodness my office was closed yesterday so I had an official "snow day". I haven't had one since I was in high school so it was a treat. Let me take you back on my snow day adventure.

6:30AM- Receive a call from my best friend and co-worker who informs me that the office is closed. WOOHOOO

6:45AM- Cook some eggs and have breakfast. Not rushed at all; Boy did I love it!

7:00AM- Help Jeremy do some cleaning around the house. So fun to pal around the house together :)

8:30AM- Take a walk in our neighborhood to check the road conditions. It was a beautiful walk and I got to take my snow shoe traction thingys for s spin. They worked; I did not slip once!

9:30AM- Do some remote office work on the computer. It was a slow work day to say the least.

11:00AM- Send Jeremy off to work and prepare lunch. Now it's time for me to get some work done!

12:00PM- Patch up some of Jeremy's jeans and work on some crafts. LOVE this extra time to work on these little projects that just seem to pile up during the week.

2:30PM- Do some more office work and got things cleaned up and ready for work back at the office tomorrow.

4:00PM- Start baking come cookies and homemade herb butter for Thanksgiving rolls.

5:00PM- Call my Mom and in-laws. I love my family; Fun times talking about the days events and the upcoming holidays!

7:00PM- Get the dishes cleaned and house straightened. Listening to my favorite hymns makes it so much more enjoyable.

8:20PM- Jeremy arrives home, we have a quicky dinner and jump in bed to start it all over again tomorrow!

Back at work today but boy am I thankful for my busy snow day!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The last few weeks or so I have been getting inspired for all the crafts and goodies I will be making these holidays. I'm gearing up to start working on them this weekend. I have not had a weekend at home in a long time, I'm either running about shopping, visiting family and friends or going to some event. I have marked this weekend out with my Mom to get groceries at Costco and then go home to bake and craft. What a joyous day it will be! :)

What about you? What holiday crafts are you working on?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blessings of Thorns

Have you ever thanked God for the thorns in your life? Paul instructed the Ephesian believers to “give thanks always for all things . . .” -Ephesians 5:20. It is easier said than done, believe me I know, but God has been laying on my heart that truly in ALL things we should be praising Him, for the good and the bad, even the thorns in our lives.

To be thankful for our thorns, we need to see our thorns from heaven’s perspective. It may be difficult to see in our own lives but we can certainly see it in the bible. The biblical examples show how God used thorns/trials to transform and shape a person’s life, and how the individuals responded to their thorn.

Our first glimpse at how God used a thorn/trial was in the story of Joseph. His brothers were always jealous of him and the favor he received from their father. One day they had enough and decided to get rid of him. Instead of killing him, they ended up selling him to traders. Through that experience, which I'm sure was just awful, being sold as a slave, on top of the feelings of betrayal of his family members, God used the situation to help Joseph, to grow him and use him for His ultimate plan. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." -Genesis 50:20

A second example is in the story of Esther. As a child she was orphaned and then was taken away for her only family (Mordecai, her cousin) to become Queen. But once in her royal seat, she had to deal with the enormous responsibility of saving the Jews from being annihilated. Esther could have whined about her situation or not dealt with it at all, but she didn't. She trusted in God and His promises in working past and through the thorn placed in front of her.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 says "...even though I have received wonderful revelations from God. But to keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may work through me. Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

How can a person have overflowing joy in the midst of a thorn experience, like the Apostle Paul? Some thorns go on and on, and we are tempted to lose heart. But what will help us press on is God's grace. His grace and His love is more than enough. One of my favorite Hillsong songs says it perfectly 'The riches of your love will always be enough'.

In my own life I have many trials and thorns to deal with. Sometimes I am able to recognize them for what they are and I just pray for strength to get through them. Other times I fail miserably and grumble about them. But I am reminded that it is through these hardships and thorns that we learn to love Him more, to rely on Him more and to trust Him more. The situations or thorns we encounter, God uses them for good, for His good purposes. We need to let Him get in that ground and plow it up. Get in your life (even by using a thorn) to plow up our lives to be fruitful, be become more like His Son who ultimately bore the worse thorns for us.

No, the life and the thorns we have to bear are not always easy, but it is for our good because God has said it so. He is always found faithful. "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee." -Isaiah 43:2

The greater story is about God and His love and purpose for our lives. It is perfect during Thanksgiving time to express a thankful heart, in all things, even the thorns.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making Memories

Halloween 2010 went down in the books as a memorable one! Aside from the festivities of my Mom's 50th birthday celebration and AWANA harvest carnival, this was the first Halloween together where Jeremy and I dressed up.

I've mentioned before that my husband is my favorite comedian (he's extremely goofy) and so his costume idea was equally as goofy. He wanted to be a refrigerator. Not a clever 'refrigerator running' costume, just a refrigerator. So I went to work and constructed his costume out of a large white box, $3 curtain rod, velcro, some old magnets and a hot glue gun. It turned out very well if I do say so myself. :)

Hope you all had as memorable a Halloween too!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Vintage Filler Tutorial

This last weekend, my Mom and I went to the Ruffles and Rust antique show. Tons of great vendors were there with some of the best in vintage glam. Although I LOVED what they were selling, my pocket book did not like how much they were selling for, so my thing at these events is to soak up all the inspiration I can for fun DIY projects and such. I picked up an old beat up vintage book for just such a project:

Vintage filler is as easy as 1,2,3. First you'll need 1 shredder, 1 vintage book (or any paper of your choice) and start shredding; it's that simple!

This fun filler can be made out of old books, old sheet music or anything really! If you have old papers or books that aren't old and you want that vintage look, try tea dying the paper. Once you have your shredded paper filler, you are ready to use it in decorating around the house or in gift bags for presents. Whatever you end up using the filler for, I know you'll love it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Our Daily Bread {a tutorial & recipe}

"And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water" -Exodus 23:25a

God has blessed us and placed us into a great church with an amazing church family. Our pastor, Pastor Paul, is very knowledgeable and one of those teachers who will tell you about biblical concept over and over again in church. Although at the time you wonder why he keeps explaining the same things, you finally get it when it sticks with you and you can see it in your daily life. That's what he is trying to do; get His word into our hearts so that we can be fed by His word each and every day.

"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." -John 6:35

October is pastor appreciation month and in honor of that, Jeremy and I gave our pastor some yummy pumpkin bread along with a 5 minute pillowcase bread bag (inspired by this 5 minute bag). It is just a small token of our appreciation for him and how he speaks the Lord's truth into our hearts each week!

{Tutorial Time:}

Find a cute pillow case to use for your bread bag and cut 18 inches down the length of the pillow case.

Then cut 11 inches along the width of the pillow case. Turn the pillow case inside with the right sides facing each other.

Finally, sew along the side and bottom (I used a zig-zag stitch) and then place the wrapped loaf of bread into the bag and close with a ribbon. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

His Grace

We serve an amazing God and boy do I feel so blessed right now. I've recently dived into the book "The 66 Love Letters" by Dr. Larry Crabb and it is changing every way I've ever thought about God before (in a good way of course). Jesus is slowly growing me and teaching me more and more about Himself. At times it is a painful process because I am seeing ugly things about myself. But it is also glorious because I get to see His goodness.

"For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another." -Titus 3:3

The main lesson I've learned in the book is pretty basic stuff that anyone who reads the bible can see; we are all fallen people with a sin nature. The only thing is, sometimes I think we forget that. We live our lives like we aren't 'that bad' and then go ahead judging other people in their lives. I'm not saying we can't distinguish between good and bad behavior, but I think it is a heck of a lot easier to see the sin in others than it is in ourselves. But the truth is, we are all desperately wicked and in need of His mercy and grace.

"How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!" -Psalms 78:40

Because of this renewed understanding, I read the bible differently now. For example, have you ever read your bible and come across a story or two that really surprised you? Like when Jonah threw a temper tantrum with God, or even when Peter denied Christ 3 times, or when David had Uriah killed in order to get his wife. These are all stories we've heard before but to be able to really examine them has taught me that God's prophets, apostles and even a man after His own heart are not perfect. Although they helped His kingdom in numerous ways, they still desperately needed His grace and salvation. And so do I. I am in need of a Savior. There is no way around it. From the beginning of time, man has lived a life in rebellion of God, and that doesn't stop at me. My desire is for Him to increase in me and for me to decrease. This isn't about me, it's ALL about Him and I need to try and remember that everyday! Praise be to God for His mercy, His love, His grace and His patience with me as I learn to be the woman He wants me to be!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Drum Roll Please

The one and only Halloween story shared was by my friend Devon and she wins the 'Open if you Dare' Meri Meri cupcake package. Congrats Devon, not only on winning this most prestigious prize :) but for your new marriage. Hope you and the new hubby are having fun in Mexico!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hidden in my Heart

I love to think of His words being hidden in my heart. There it serves to encourage me, teach me & empower me to do what is right. I know the times when I have a verse fall right off my tongue, are the times when God has used it for His glory to bless someone.

The verses don't just come like magic though, you have to study and meditate on His precious word for it to saturate your thinking. That is why I am so smitten with this new project. Not only is it adorable but it is so handy to hold all my index cards full of verses in.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Open if you Dare! a halloween giveaway

I can hardly believe it is October already! Is it just me or did it come quickly!? This month I have a wedding, my hubby's birthday and my Mom's 50th birthday on Halloween. Lots to plan and celebrate!

I'm sending out the invites for my Mom's bday today and they turned out really cute. I LOVE Picnik! I have been using that program in conjunction with the paint app to make the invites, food labels, etc. I'm addicted to it!

The theme for my Mom's bday party is 'A Haunted Mansion' based off of the ride at Disneyland. She wanted to go there for her birthday but our funds are not allowing that so we'll bring Disneyland to her!

While looking for decorations for the party I stumbled upon these adorable cupcake holders and toppers from Meri Meri. I love their little party packs. They make throwing a party easy, extra cute AND it all comes in a handy little box ready to go. I picked up an extra "Open if you Dare" party packs and I am giving it away to one special person who shares their favorite Halloween memory or any tips/tricks they've learned while using The deadline ends on Friday, October 8th at 9:00am. I can't wait to see your answers; see you on Friday!

P.S. On a side note, although I know Halloween originated in pagans worshipping the god of the dead, and is actually a pretty scary glamorization of evil (think murderers, severed heads, and all those super revealing women's halloween costumes) I am taking a break from my halloween hating to celebrate my Mom's special day. Our party will only be PG rated I promise! ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Comic Relief

Sometimes you just need to have a good laugh. My usual go-to is either my husband, Jeremy (my favorite comedian) or Lucy, 'I Love Lucy' that is. But I recently stumbled upon an author who literally makes me laugh out loud while reading his blog. Like 'rolling on the floor' laughing!

His name is Jon Acuff and he really gets christian culture. It's only been a few years since giving my life to Christ and being immersed in christian culture, but I can identify with so many of his posts. Take a gander and I'm sure you will too (and you also will end up rolling on the floor laughing!)

My favorite topics Jon has covered: The Side Hug, Meeting Famous Pastors, Singing With our Hands Raised and last but not least Christmas Shoes, Greatest Song Ever? (That one's for you, Jerm!)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

With Wisdom

During my morning bible studies, God has recently been teaching me a few things; to take hold of my tongue and use it for good, not sinful purposes, and that it is my job to share the love of Christ and His gospel to the people in my life.

The christian life is always going to be about us loving God by being obedient to Him and loving others, by sharing His love with them. Doing the latter is a little hard when your big mouth (or mine in this case) can get in the way.

While on facebook this last week I encountered a few instances where my tongue (or key strokes) were tested. Posts were written that belittled and challenged God, and instead of getting into a hissy fit and typing a big ol' nasty rant, I argued my point with love and my powers of persuasion.

I've found that getting mad about something someone says is just not productive. All that I've learned from the christian apologists (and my Father-in-law) have taught me that the way to reach someone is to ask them questions about their stance. This way the burden of proof is on them, and their views, if in fact illogical, will start to break down. This was the case in these two facebook instances.

Loving others includes loving them enough to tell them God's truth, even if they don't want to hear it. But doing so in a loving way. I am so thankful that God has been leading me through these verses to equip me with the particular situations I have dealt with. It's not always easy to stand up for God and His truths, but if we rely on Him to help us speak His word to them in love, we can accomplish anything.

"Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope." Ephesians 3:20

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fall into Knitting

Here in Seattle we are quickly moving into our fall and with it comes the rain and cloudy days. And as much as I enjoyed this past summer, I have to say that I am actually enjoying the start of the new season. The cold rainy days always make me feel like bundling up on the couch and working on a knitting project.

While surfing through some crafting blogs I stumbled upon this awesome project. Not only is it cute but it is EASY. I am a very beginner knitter and can only knit squares or rectangles. That gets kind of old pretty fast. You can only have so many scarves and pot holders. Knitting a hat was totally out of the question, until this project came across my path. I am excited to get to knitting again while snuggled on my comfy couch in my home away from the rain. It's much prettier when I'm not out in it. I love fall in Seattle!

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's all in the details

What a whirlwind of a weekend! 2 showers: one bridal and one baby. Thank goodness for the baby shower because I just had to show up and enjoy, after working hard at my BFF's shower the day before.

Everything turned out beautiful and the ladies enjoyed themselves. One important thing to remember when planning a shower or party are the details. It's all in the details. Focus on the theme or a certain element or style to bring it all together.

For Devon's kitchen & recipe shower we had a cookie decorating contest (judged by the bride-to-be of course), cooking themed quiz & all the guests offered their words of wisdom on the 'recipe for a happy marriage'. All the games/activities were a load of fun, but the real fun was when Devon opened up her gifts with this special moment when her Mom held one of her 'gifts' and made the bride blush!

The food was also a very important element of the shower because it was after all, a kitchen & recipe shower. The menu included delicious Krispie Kreme donuts, fresh fruit, greek yogurt, muffin tin egg bakes, mimosa's and coffee. A very good spread if I do say so myself. The egg bakes were a big hit and the best part is that they were SO simple to make.

All in all, it was a very happy and beautiful affair. I am happy for this girl! Now she is ready to cook for her future husband with tried and true recipes from each party guest and lots of neat kitchen gadgets and equipment.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our Sweet Day

This Sunday, Jeremy and I will be enjoying our 1 year wedding anniversary together. To celebrate the occasion, we will be road tripping throughout the great state of Washington and staying in Leavenworth, a cute little Bavarian town filled with sauerkraut, schnitzel and lederhosen.

Throughout this last year, Jerm and I have had some good times and some growing times. There were definitely growing pains as we adjusted to living together. He still can't seem to find some of his stuff (woops.. I didn't know he needed that!) But above all, we have held onto the fact that God brought us together. He has blessed our union and is an integral part of our relationship and how we relate to one another. Sure there are times when he drives me bonkers (and I suppose he might feel the same) but we made a commitment between God and ourselves to love, honor and cherish each other as long as we both shall live. Here are three things I've learned thus far from being a wife:

1.) One thing that I think has blessed our relationship is prayer. There are some things best left up to the Lord. He is the one who showed us the ultimate example of what love is and He is able to help and strengthen the bonds of marriage between a couple.

2.) We are best friends first and foremost, who love each other and love to make the other laugh. Laughter can constantly be heard at our house. Keeping that fun alive and kicking in your relationship keeps you young, keeps you happy and keeps those bonds strong. Who else is gonna laugh at your silly jokes but your spouse? :)

3.) And finally, forgiveness is a big part of marriage. When two people are together, they are bound to have misunderstandings and hurt feelings as a result. I can't tell you the number of times I know Jeremy have been forgiving of me when I am acting childish or selfish, or vice versa. Because we love each other, we know that the moment of our spouses lack of better judgment will soon pass so we forget and continue on as usual. Again, Christ has given us the best example of this when He continually forgives us for our daily short comings. Keeping that in mind definitely helps!

Jeremy is my husband, my best friend, my biggest supporter, my favorite comedian & my helper. Looking forward to spending many a year praying with, laughing with and forgiving with my J-mo!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Preparations & Plans

As we come closer and closer to my bff's big day, so do the other wedding festivities, i.e. bridal showers and bachelorette party. Because of this I am in preparation mode collecting all the materials, prizes and decor for the pre-nuptial parties. The kitchen & recipe shower is coming up and the invites are going out tomorrow. I am so excited to see it all come together. Here is a sneak peak for you.

Don't you just LOVE weddings!?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Deceptively Delicious Mistake

My best girlfriend just got engaged last week and asked me to be her maid of honor. She was the MOH at my wedding last year. Our friendship goes way back, back to the days when I got my first professional job at a mortgage company (pre- mortgage crises mind you), back when I was thinner and had no problems with my arms or legs (oh the glory days) and when we didn't know any better. We were both 19 years old and we commiserated over awful dating experiences and that set in motion a friendship that has lasted 6+ years and going strong. She eventually left the company to go off to college and I stayed there for the next few years. Fast forward a few more years later and we both found ourselves out of jobs due to the economic downturn. Last spring she got a job at the current company she is at and then a got me on board. That's what friends are for, right!?

Anyways, back to the topic at hand; her engagement! Devon is so special to me not only because we share some awesome memories of hanging out in her college town every weekend one summer, or the memories of her helping me get through a very difficult relationship, but she is a friend who I share a common love with: Christ. When we first met we were not christians in any sense of the word but God used our circumstances to work together and become friends and then eventually we both found Him. And it is through Him that our friendship is strengthened. We have each seen the other in totally different places than we are now and it is through His love and strength that we are here today. Devon has been an encouragement, an inspiration and confidant in moving forward as a woman of God. I've seen where she was when I first met her to where she is now and I thank God that He took her to this place. I am so happy for her and her fiance Miles (who I absolutely adore- what a great couple!).

But I digress again; I am planning the bridal shower and bachelorette parties and thinking of cute little things to include and gifts to buy. While out shopping with my Mom this weekend I found this very cute cook book at Big Lots for only $3. I'm no one to pass up on a great deal like that AND I'm planning on throwing Devon a kitchen/recipe bridal shower so I thought this would be a cute thing to give to the bride. But once I took a closer look at the book after I purchased it, I realized it is a cook book for enticing your children to eat their fruits and veggies without them even knowing about it by adding purees to the recipes. Well that won't come in handy for at least a few years for them when they start having kids. I guess I will have to find another, more appropriate cook book for my friend. Doh!

After thinking about it a little more, this cook book will be perfect for my household seeing as my husband and I already have a slightly altered diet anyways. My hubby can't have white rice, white bread, any sugar, etc.. so adding more fruit and veggie type recipes to my repertoire will help liven up our usuals and of course get me ready for when we have little ones! Thanks Devon for the new cook book ;) and congratulations!!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

'Christmas in July' Week: Freebie Gift Tags

What kind of a 'Christmas in July' blogger would I be if I didn't leave you with any presents?

Now I'm not that talented, but the good people at Eat Drink Chic are, and they have some awesome Christmas gift tag and goodie bag downloads that you can easily print and add to the presents you give to others. And your friends and family will think you are so talented when they see their nicely wrapped gift. Nice trade off, huh!?

Holiday Jumbo Gift Tag

Holiday Mail Stripes Gift Tag

Holiday Reindeer Gift Tag

Holiday Treat Bag

Get to printing because Christmas will be here before you know it!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

'Christmas in July' Week: God With Us

So I know it's not actually Christmas-time, but this is something that is good to reflect on all year long: the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 1:23 Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

A whole host of verses beautifully illustrate how God the Father used God the Son to complete this awesome and wonderful plan called life. He has created all things and executed all things through the Son, Yeshua, Jesus. Jesus came to earth to save all mankind. God emptied Himself to be our salvation.

It is just amazing to think about how awe inspiring it all is. Each time I open up my bible I am blown away at Him and His glory, at His power and His love. In the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, everyone." He truly has!

Monday, July 26, 2010

'Christmas in July' Week: Ball of yarn ornaments

I know, so random, huh!? Our local christian radio station had an add for the Michael W. Smith Christmas show coming here in December so it got me thinking. Then I started humming some festive Christmas tunes (who doesn't love doing that, even in July!?)

Some time ago while blog surfing I stumbled upon these adorable yarn ball ornaments. So while on the topic of the most wonderful time of the year, I made this little tutorial. You can never be too prepared so why not get a jump start on the holidays? :)

Funny side note; since it is July and not December and we don't have a Christmas tree in our house right now, I had to go outside to take pictures on one of the evergreens at the local park. No wonder the other park goers looked at me funny!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Easy Peasy Pasta Salad

Last week my church women's ministry had a summer fellowship get-together and we were all asked to bring our favorite summer salad and recipe to share. I don't know about you but I dread the thought of coming home from work, with the sun shining only to go inside to cook dinner. By the time you have dinner made, you don't have too much time to enjoy it before you have to get to bed for the next day.

To maximize our time AND still eat some delish food I make this easy veggie pasta salad. Did I mention it is EASY?! It's so easy you don't even need a recipe per se. I usually eye ball it and add more or less ingredients to make it just how I like it but for those of you who need a recipe I have the simple instructions here. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Hiatus

Summer has arrived in Seattle and we are enjoying temperatures up into the 80's and 90's. The hot summer sun gives me such joy and energy. Even after a long hard day at work, I will still want to get into some shorts and a t-shirt to go on a hike, visit the beach, or anything to be outside!

Along with the beautiful weather, summer has brought us a very busy schedule. Between birthdays, weddings and barbecues, our weekends are jam-packed with activities. Which is the reason for my summer hiatus from blogging. There is just too much to do that I don't have time blog about it (or want to miss this awesome weather!)

I will share with you some exciting news we got last week: my genius husband had his article published on a major political news website last week. This is is his first 'published' article! God has blessed his with some serious writing skills and he's been writing for years for his own blog and now he is an genuine published author! YAHOO!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Helper

Through whatever I am going through, I am comforted to know that God is always there for me. He is my Helper and my Keeper. In times of joy and distress. What an awesome God we serve. Although He knows we will struggle and screw up all throughout our lives, His love and His grace cover us.

God has, no doubt, been faithful in my life. I am no stranger to trouble or struggle but He has been there to catch me and help me get going again. Praise be to Him who is faithful and whose mercies are new each morning!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Banner Day: A Tutorial

My first tutorial to be exact! *Disclaimer alert* I am no Martha Stewart, but I enjoy crafting and creating pretty things, even if they don't turn out exactly 'as pictured'. They are made with a whole lotta love.

A banner day, indeed!

Taste of Summer

Our summer here in the Seattle area is slow in coming, so to help jump start things, I decided to make some delicious summertime recipe favorites.

Each season has it's distinct flavors and foods that go with it and with summer comes BBQ'ed chicken burgers fresh off the grill with some fresh sauces and produce. This week we tried the chicken burger with pesto mayonnaise. And it is just as easy as it sounds to make. Grill your chicken however you like it and then spread over your sandwich buns the pesto mayo which is 1 part basil pesto to 3 parts mayo. It is so yummy and it's full of flavor!

With Independence day fast approaching, I am trying to figure out which dessert to bring to our church service in the park/fellowship picnic. Martha's Everyday Food sent me an e-mail this week with what looks like an amazing recipe: 'Smore cookies! Who can pass that up? But what could be more American than an apple pie cookie ice cream sandwich? Am I making you hungry yet? If I can't decide on one I might just have to make both, which wouldn't be so bad I guess ;)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crafting for a Cause

My heart has been stirred by some much needed ministries within the church: stopping human trafficking, encouraging adoption of the 147 million orphans in the world and ending all forms of abortion. For now my efforts are focused on a very saddening reality; abortion.

Our church supports a local pregnancy resource center that provides medical, educational and support services to those in need to help make a choice for life and to insure a successful pregnancy and parenting experience. Their ministry focuses on: prevention, intervention and education & support. I am a part of their newest campaign "Change for Life" and would love any support, financial support or prayer support.

Every client is given resources that match her specific situation, showing her the love of Christ at every opportunity. To accomplish this the PRC provides in-center meetings with case managers to obtain medical coupons, a pregnancy support group, free maternity clothing, birth and baby preparation classes, baby clothing/supplies and new mom support groups. In addition to the fundraiser I am apart of, I am going to be using my love of crafting to make some baby toys, clothes and maternity clothes for the center. What a better way to use my hobby? A smart lady once said "Talent is God's gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to God."

Again, I ask that you pray for these efforts and take a look at the fundraiser page. Thank you for taking a stand for

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Something More

I shared with you a few posts back about God taking me on a journey. That journey has opened my eyes to great needs in the church and in the world. I get so caught up in thinking about myself or my problems and forget about what is most important in this life, to love God and love others.

This life is not about us, as much as the world may tell us otherwise. Jesus came and told us that we are here to serve Him. God Himself became human. The text in John chapter 1 begins with this statement, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Word WAS God and the Word became flesh. If the Word was God and the Word became flesh, then God became flesh. God became human. Jesus Christ was human and Jesus Christ was God.

Not only that, but He came and lived a life of servitude. He lived and died for us.

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!" -Philippians 2:1-8

During this time in my life, I've been waiting on the Lord and He has helped me see that my purpose, my call in this life is to serve Him, His children and those hurting in this world. There are so many people who need God and need His encouragement, His love. I want to devote my life to doing just that. For those of you also seeking to do something more, there are some unbelievable organizations and ministries doing extraordinary things: The Call, The Zoe Foundation, Exodus Cry and a documentary, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.

"Here is my Servant, whom I uphold, my chosen One in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on Him and He will bring justice to the nations.

I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness." -Isaiah 42: 1, 6-7

What do you say; are you up for the challenge?

Friday, June 11, 2010

So excited!!

I know I am a major dork for getting so excited about this but I just received my first comment from someone other than my best friend, my husband and my Mother-in-law. Not that I don't love and cherish that they read my blog because I DO! :)

But getting back to my excitement, the person who commented was none other than Julie of Joy's Hope. Hers was the first crafting blog I read and I instantly fell in love. Not only does she offer beautiful inspiration, tutorials and recipes (I've tried them all and they are AWESOME!) but she offers hope and the love of Christ. I can't tell you how I've been inspired by her and I don't even know her (It does sound weird saying it out loud).

Something else I've been reflecting on this morning is the body of Christ. I LOVE finding out that so and so is a christian or driving down the road and seeing the Jesus fish on the back of someones bumper because that means we are sisters and brothers. Jeremy and I are so blessed to be a part of a wonderful church with some awesome people. They are not perfect, but they love Jesus and strive to be like Him each day. I guess it just gives me hope seeing all the different kinds of people out there and knowing they too are on fire for Christ. Praise God for His church, may we share His gospel with humility and love. And praise God for the inspiration His church is to fellow believers. You are a real blessing to this world!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Real Simple: Entertaining & Cooking

Party planning is fun, but it can also be very daunting. Trying to stick within a budget, plan the perfect menu and then to actually make it all, can almost drive a girl crazy (and believe me, my husband has seen it happen.) I have discovered some easy entertaining tips and quick easy recipes that are a cinch to make and will impress your guests too!

My husband and I organize small get-togethers with the youth of our church as well as a christian apologetics meetings. Any excuse to try out some new recipes and make a pretty table-scape, I am down. But first...

Organization is key to make hosting a breeze. There are six questions to answer to get started: What is the date? How many guests will be there? What is the location? What type of party will it be? What is your budget? Is there going to be music or entertainment?

For our particular parties, we don't have too much involved but it still requires some delish food to share. This last weekend we had a game night on Saturday and then a belated Mother's Day celebration with the family on Sunday. Both days I tried out these simple yet tasty recipes.

Inspired by Ina Garten's recipe, these beauties took only have the work but sure tasted like the real deal. The secret is in the frosting. Homemade is always the way to go- none of this store bought stuff!

And the cupcakes themselves were equally as easy to make. All I had in the house was a box of Betty Crocker yellow cake mix but to turn my yellow cake into chocolate cake, I added 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the dry mix before adding the rest of the ingredients. You never would have known it was yellow cake. Put a nice dollop of the frosting on the cupcakes and voila, dessert perfection!

For our Mother's day dinner, I made spanish rice to go on the side. In the latest issue of "Everyday Food", Martha offers a simple recipe that is sure to please. I substituted the white rice for long grain rice and cooked it a little bit longer but it was oh so good. Jeremy asked me to make it again for his lunch this week. It must have been good for him to ask for it twice in one week! I was faced with a dilemma, however. I usually buy the tiny 6 oz. cans of tomato paste, but my husband bought the ingredients this time and he opted for the larger, 15 oz. can. What to do with all the leftovers? I certainly won't be using all the rest within the next week.

I looked around my kitchen and found these foil cupcakes trays. After using them to bake my dessert in, I cleaned them out and filled them with remaining tomato paste and stuck it in the freezer. After they have frozen, you can remove the pieces individually and put them in a bag. The next time you need one tablespoon of tomato paste, you don't even need to measure it. Just take one of your tomato paste balls from the freezer and drop it into the saute pan!

Party planning shouldn't be so involved that you can't even enjoy the celebration. Take some time to plan ahead and prepare for the big day, pick out some simple recipes and enjoy the party!