Monday, May 31, 2010

Service & Sacrifice

In honor of Memorial Day, let us remember the service and sacrifice of the men and women in the U.S. military who not only served but laid down their lives so we can live. We live in the greatest country ever, and we have a duty to live up to and preserve this nation for our children.

Help us also remember the service and sacrifice of the One who served and died for us, that we might live.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Proverbs 4:18-27

"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."

God is taking me on a journey. These last few months have been trying and God is working in me to turn me into the person He wants me to be.

When I first recognized the testing in my life, I became very impatient and wanted God to deliver me from it RIGHT THEN. What I failed to realize until now is that God works outside of time and is therefore not limited to our time table, when we think something should happen. I was doing some reading last night and was reminded that often times in scripture, God had His children wait on Him not just a few hours or days, but often times many years. The first story I thought about was when Jacob had to wait 7 years to marry His beloved Leah. Or the 40 year journey it took for the children of Israel to finally make it into the Promised Land.

"We must learn to move according to the timetable of the Timeless One, and be at peace." -Elisabeth Elliot

Ultimately I think the journey God is taking me on is one of trust. I think God wants me to trust in Him through everything, which is not as easy as it sounds. God is calling me to act. He wants me to do His work, to use what is in my hands, my life, for His glory. God is calling me to love. There is some bitterness and hatred in my heart that needs to be dealt with.

I am so thankful that God is so patient with me. I feel like a big screw up most of the time, but knowing He has provided the way for me and provided me with His strength, I am confident I will make it with Him and Him alone!

I'm sure we are all well aware of the story of the foot prints in the sand, and boy is it so true. The times when we only see one set of footprints, during the times when it was so hard and we felt so alone, Christ was there carrying us. We can trust in Him and His word. We can trust in Him and His comfort. We can trust Christ to be with us during the most trying times in our life, because He promised it."I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." -Philippians 4:13 As the proverb above says, "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you." Set your eyes on Christ and He will be with you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

5-Star Chili

Do you want to make a delicious dinner that your family will LOVE? It's nothing fancy but it is oh so good. I served this at the game night we had a few weeks back with our friends from church and it was a hit.

The jalapeño peppers give it a kick so if you like spicy then this will make you a happy camper. If you don't like spicy then you can omit the peppers. My philosophy is: throw in or leave out whatever you want. Cooking is flexible that way and when you get back to the basics not only does it make it a heck of a lot easier, but it tastes fabulous!

What You Need!
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 Tbsp. chili powder
1 can (14.5 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth
2 cans (15 oz. each) kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans (15 oz. each) stewed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Make It!
BROWN meat in Dutch oven or large deep skillet on medium heat; drain, if necessary. Add onions and jalapeno peppers; cook 5 to 7 min. or until tender, stirring frequently.

ADD all remaining ingredients except cilantro and cheese; stir. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

TOP with whatever you like: sliced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced scallions, red onion, etc..

If you aren't in the traditional chili mood, you can try this delicious gem of a recipe. After you get past the fact that you are using Velveeta, you will enjoy a yummy dinner!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Coming Soon

My good friend, Iris, is expecting her first baby and I am thrilled to make all sorts of goodies for her and the little one on the way! One in the works is an adorable ruffle tutu onesie.

With the three day weekend coming up, I will be able to tackle a few projects on my list, including this lovely and a re-fashion re-do (but I'll save that story for next week!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sewing 101

I have mentioned before that I am no Martha Stewart. I can't whip up fancy meals with the ease that she does, I can't plant container gardens with as much success as she does, I can't dye beads for craft projects as good or mess free as she does, and I certainly can't sew baby booties as well or cute as she does.

Well, I have an even more embarrassing confession to make. When I first got my sewing machine I was instructed by a friend on the basics. My friend, who is self taught and been sewing (gorgeous things of course) for years, taught me so surely I would end up being as good as her, right?! When I put my machine to use after that, I couldn't understand why all my projects were turning out like this.

I just couldn't get it, sewing couldn't possibly be this hard, right!? I about gave up and moved on to other crafts while my sewing machine sat dormant. I read this blog and was inspired to try one more time to figure out what the problem was. Turns out, I missed a very important step. That very important step is where you slide the thread through the tension slit on the bobbin. I was just pulling the thread straight through the hole and not through the very tiny side slit, therefore giving the thread no tension.

Boy am I glad for the internet and it's limitless ways of helping me solve problems, answer questions and give me delicious recipes and craft ideas from other bloggers. After that small incident, I turn to the professionals now: How to Thread a Bobbin. Which also reminds me of the episode from one of the funniest shows in existence where Lucy attempts to make her first sewing project- a homemade dress. Oh Lucy, I can totally relate! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Lord Leads

If you haven't yet been introduced to Wordle, I highly recommend spending some time there. It is a program that creates what they call word clouds and what beauty they are when you put God's Word into it.

Without getting into too much detail on here, these last few weeks have been very trying. It has been hard to trust in the Lord to get me through, but as usual, He remains faithful even when I do not. Praise God for His mercy and enduring love. Praise Him for His patience with me.

Tonight at bible study, we discussed the various situations in our lives and the answer to all our problems was to rely on the Lord. That won't necessarily make all our problems go away but it will give us the comfort and the boldness to go forward in confidence.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -John 16:33

One of my favorite verses in the bible is in Psalm 23. Oh the words of David are so beautiful and boy can I relate to them! I created this wordle to print and post to remind myself of His love and comfort and wouldn't you know it, the two most prominent words in those verses is 'Lord Leads'. My prayer is that I always have a humble, teachable heart that can be lead by Him because it is only through Him that I will be able to truly get past my troubles victoriously!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Weekend Update

This weekend was pretty much the best weekend, from start to finish, in a long time! It started off with dinner with my dear friend, Iris, who is expecting her first child. I'm so excited for her and of course now I have babies on the brain and will be making some lovely little presents in the near future for the baby shower!

Then Saturday was double fun with a chic antique flea market and then game night with the youth from our church. And in case you haven't played it yet, you've gotta check out 'Loaded Questions'. Quite possibly the greatest game ever. My husband loves yelling games (taboo, pictionary, last word, etc...) but this one requires some creativity and a whole lotta funny!

And finally, Mother's Day; it was absolutely gorgeous out so we got to enjoy the pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob and rhubarb crisp & play games with my Mom and little brother out in the sun. I love Seattle in the spring!! And I love you Moms (Mom and Mom-in-law) <3

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


"The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him" Nahum 1:7

Lord, help me to put my trust in You and You alone. This world is pulling at me. I am pulling at me. Help me Lord, help me to make You my first priority. I want to remain firmly grounded as I overcome the daily obstacles as I go through life. Help me to learn the valuable lessons along the way as I press on toward the goal for which You have called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

It don't feel good right now, but I have to realize it's necessary. You're trying to build me up. You're taking away everything that's not like you, Jesus. It's that breaking process. Your delay is not a denial, I realize. You love me too much to give me too much, Jesus. Your plan is perfect even when I'm not. I can't rely on my own strength this time.

I pray that you will grow me and help me put ALL my trust in you. I love you, Lord. Help me love you more. Amen.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

a promise and a dessert

Don't you get happy when you see a rainbow?! I know I sure do. Not only because it usually means the rain is subsiding, but because it is a beautiful reminder of God's covenant, His promise to us. What a blessing to not only know in your heart that God loves you but to actually see right in front of you that He is keeping His promise to His people. We have an awesome God and every time I see a rainbow I get happy.

"Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers." -1 Kings 8:56-58

Want to know another rainbow that makes me happy? My new favorite (bake-free) rice krispie/fruity pebbles rainbow dessert. Mmmm.. don't they look good? I made these for my AWANA girls last week and they LOVED them. Who am I kidding, I loved them! I had extras that were easily devoured by yours truly. Beware with this recipe as it is one of the easiest things you can make AND it is delish!

Rice Krispie & Fruity Pebble Cupcake Treats
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
6 cups marshmallows
4 cups rice krispie cereal
4 cups fruity pebbles cereal

Melt butter in microwave. Add the marshmallows and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and stir after 45 seconds. Add the 8 cups of cereal and blend together. Push into greased muffin tins or large baking dish. Let cool and add frosting if you want to make them extra tasty. Enjoy!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Making my list and Checking it Twice

I know it's not Christmas time, but it's spring time and that means lots of fun and exciting events and activities coming up. As we are less than a week before Mother's Day, I am making last minute decisions on menus and gifts for my Mom and Mom-in-law.

I am very indecisive about the particulars but now that I am back home, I have all week to figure out the final details. I won't be sharing them until after Mother's Day as either of them could be reading right now :)

But for those of you not sure sure what to get for Mom, check out these beautiful and oh so tasty lavender filled baskets. They have all kinds of goodies made by my sister-in-law, and they are delicious if I do say so myself!

There are also graduations and birthdays coming up so I will be busy brainstorming and crafting this week and then enjoying a game night with the young people at our church this weekend. Very excited to be back in the crafting/party planning saddle again!