Monday, December 12, 2011

MM: And Fight!

I saw this the other day when Lee was looking through Wimp videos. This is beyond precious. Uncoordinated kids make me happy. The one in blue may be smaller but that doesn't stop him from taking up the challenge and executing some sweet back kicks. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm feeling crafty

So, I have a lot to catch you up on. I'll start with my Christmas crafting frenzy.

First off we have the sweet yarn wreath I made. Thanks to Pinterest I made the wreath base from plumbing insulation. It didn't work out quite how I planned because the pieces I was able to find weren't long enough so I had to tape two pieces together. It made the shape a little goofy. I continued on in hopes it would work out.

Next I wrapped yarn around it and then added some felt flowers and leaves and a sweet bow. This idea also came from Pinterest which is my new friend. I stuck some straight pins in there to hopefully keep everything attached. I really like the sparkly blue yarn.

Here it is on my door. You can notice the shape is a little goofy so I might try something else next time, but I think it's not too bad for my first wreath. I hung it up with a Command hook.

My next craft was a tree skirt. I had just been wrapping some scrap fabric around the base, but that didn't look so great. I found instructions for this tiered tree skirt I wanted to try. I think it turned out pretty good! Here's one side.

 Here's the ribbons I attached to tie it together. It's the same ribbon on the tree and the garland on our mantle.

And here's the other side. I think I like it this way a little better. What do you think?

As you can see I've been pretty crafty. Now for the slightly more important stuff. Many of you know, but for those who don't, we'll  be moving next year for Lee to go to seminary, so I need to find a job. One thing I've been looking into is alternative certification for teaching math. I'll be taking a few classes this next semester along with taking the Praxis test in January. Then I would hopefully get hired as a teacher and I'll also take teaching classes to get my MAT. Apparently I love school, which is good if I'm going to be a teacher. A lot of things need to come together, but I'm pretty excited about this opportunity. Prayers would be much appreciated.

I hope everyone feels caught up now. I'll try to do better about posting more frequently. What's been going on with you lately? 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Christian Fiction Book Club - Dancing on Glass by Pamela Ewen

 Here's my review for this month's book for the Christian Fiction Book Club. Julie is hosting over at My Only Vice so go check out what she has to say and others who have linked to her blog.

Dancing on Glassby Pamela Ewen is about Amalise Catoir a young woman studying law in New Orleans in the 1970’s. She meets a man named Phillip Sharp who she finds both charming and disturbing. Her naiveté from growing up shielded in a small town keeps her from recognizing the danger Phillip poses and despite warnings from friends, family, and her own good judgment she embarks on a relationship with him. This book is about the choices we make and how we deal with the consequences. Amalise learns you can’t pretend everything’s okay and it will all go away.
This book was difficult to read. Often I just wanted to shake Amalise. There were so many signs for what kind of person Phillip was but she continued to let him manipulate her. I have a very hard time empathizing with people in this situation. Anyone who justifies abuse against themselves needs serious prayer because that is a vicious cycle to get out of. I’d like to think that I would be different, but I guess you don’t know until you’re there.

Friday, November 4, 2011

...And Many More

A few weeks ago Lee and I went out to PJ's White River Lodge in Norfork, AR which is a little B&B on the White River. Lee and I try to get away every 6 months or so just to hang out by ourselves and look back over the last 6 months of marriage. We didn't really get the chance to do this on our anniversary a few months ago since I was finishing up my thesis, then we went to Glorieta, then school started. Glorieta was nice but we didn't have much alone time. I bought a Groupon a while back for PJ's and we were finally able to use it a few weeks ago. It was such a nice drive, there and back. Plus we were able to eat a nice steak dinner at the attached restaurant. I'd love to go back and stay longer.
Gorgeous view on the drive home

Attempt at self-portrait

Yes, that is Lee crawling back through the fence we had to cross to take the picture. Shhh, don't tell.
So, Lee had his 27th birthday this past Wednesday. Lee's not a big birthday (or any kind of celebration) fan, but of course I had to do something for him since I love birthdays. Lee doesn't really like deserts, but he has recently discovered he likes cheesecake. I attempted to make him a cheesecake for his birthday and it actually turned out pretty well. It wasn't super pretty to look at but it tasted good. It didn't crack which I count as a success, but it did get a little brown on top. If anyone knows how to fix that let me know. I got the recipe here, and it's not my Aunt Lori's famous cheesecake, but it's still pretty good. I also got Lee a Razorback money clip since he'd been using an old binder clip for a while. His new one looks a little nicer.

Yummy cheesecake. Cherries were added later.
New money clip vs. old money clip.
 So that's what's been going on with us. What's been going on in your neck of the woods?

The Groupon link is a referral link. If you haven't signed up for Groupon yet you really should. There's some great deals there.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Scarf weather...or is it

So I know Arkansas weather is always crazy, but this has been nuts. It will be in the 70's one day and then in the 40's the next. Ridiculous. So I get all excited about getting to wear coats and scarves and boots and then I can't because I'm dying from a "heat wave." First world problems, I know. I am wearing a scarf today so I thought I'd share this with everyone. Other than being awesome because it shows 25 ways to wear a scarf, it's also just a cute video. I used the "Fake Knot" today. Enjoy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday's Favorites: Fall is Here!

So, I think Fall has become my new favorite season. Now that I'm old enough to actually notice how hot it gets outside in the summer, that season is out. I do love living in a place that gets all 4 seasons. The cooler weather isn't the only reason why I love Fall though. Here's some more:

Pasta e Fagioli from Olive Garden
I love soup. I eat it several days a week for lunch, and if I get the chance to make a big batch in the crock pot I'm all over that. One of my favorites is Pasta e Fagioli from Olive Garden. I found this fun copycat recipe and made it earlier in the week with my sister (Lee's not a huge fan of soup so I often make it when he's out of town). Can you say delicious? My next goal is to find a good recipe for chicken tortilla soup which is probably my other favorite. Any suggestions?

Tall brown boots from Target
I've grown to love the boot trend, and I'm in fact wearing my pair of knock-offs I got a few years ago in Asia (they're supposed to look like Dolce and Gabbana but they have D&D instead of D&G so I'm really wearing Dungeons and Dragons boots!) I'm looking for a good deal on a brown pair. They make me feel so trendy (even though I'm definitely behind on the trend).

Wool Toggle Coat from Old Navy
I really love getting to wear coats. I think this one from Old Navy is gorgeous. I'm hoping to get it with the free outerwear coupon I got from Crowdtap. On this website you answer questions about all kinds of different brands and sometimes you earn money or get to sample products (so far I've gotten products from Old Navy and Hawaiian Tropic). Anyway, love coats.

This doesn't have anything to do with Fall, but I found out about something this morning I thought I'd share. UPS is offering something called My Choice. If you've ever had the problem of missing a UPS package this will let you receive notification of when the package will be delivered (I think you can upgrade to find out the 2 hour window), but most importantly for me, you can sign for your package online if you aren't going to be home. I'm looking forward to testing this out since I'm never home when they deliver stuff. Oh, and you're automatically entered into a giveaway, so bonus!

What are some of your favorite Fall related things?

P.S. The Crowdtap link is a referral link so I get a little somethin' somethin' if you sign up through it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Truth of the Matter

Sorry it's been forever since I've posted. I don't really have an excuse. Things are actually pretty calm right now which is kind of a nice season to be in. Soon though I'll seriously be looking into jobs in the Louisville, KY area. If you didn't know, Lee will be going to The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary starting next Fall so I'll need a new job. He's offically been accepted so keep me in your prayers during the job search. There doesn't seem to really be any VLSI jobs (which is what I studied for my Masters) so it'll probably require a slight career change, but I'm up for it.

SBTS: Nice looking place huh!? Found here
I wanted to update everyone on the Bible Study I just finished. I was a part of a group of women from our church who went through Me, Myself, and Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover by Jennifer Rothschild. It was a good study although different from what I'm used to.
It's about how to stop telling ourselves those hurtful lies we all mentally say ("I'm stupid," "I don't matter," etc) and how to tell ourselves the truths God has given us ("I'm a child of God," "I've been redeemed," etc).
There was a lot of good practical advice in this book and a ton of scripture, although it jumps around a lot. It's a little more touchy feely than I normally like in a bible study, but it is about truth from scripture, not just someone's ideas. It's a different way of thinking how to think.
If you know of a group doing it and you're a woman who struggles with negative thoughts it's a good study to do. It's helped me to realize just how selfish and sinful my self-depricating thoughts can be.

Anybody else doing any good bible studies? Have you done this one before?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Christian Fiction Book Club - The Preacher's Bride

When I first saw the cover of The Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund I thought, oh no, not an Amish novel. I don't really roll with Amish novels. Well, this book is not really Amish, it's Puritan, which isn't much better, but I thought I'd give it a shot. And I was glad I did.

The Preacher's Bride is about John Costin, an unlicensed preacher, and Elizabeth Whitfield, a young Puritan with a compassionate heart. The story is set during the end of Oliver Cromwell's reign when it was becoming more and more dangerous to be a Puritan preacher. John's wife has just died during childbirth and through his grief he can't see how much he needs a housekeeper to take care of his house and his children as he is gone for most of the day preaching. Elizabeth sees it though and she's going to help whether he wants it or not.

Elizabeth develops feelings for John and after she is attacked by a Royalist, John realizes he is developing feelings for Elizabeth too. Through the story we see the struggle of not only the Puritans as the Royalists regain power, but also of a wife who feels abandoned not only by her husband, but also by God, and a husband trying to decide God's true calling on his life.

I liked this book a lot more than I expected to. I liked it even more when I found out it's loosely based on the story of John and Elizabeth Bunyan (John wrote Pilgrim's Progress). While the legalism of the Puritans made my skin crawl, it was refreshing to see how unique John and Elizabeth were in the story and how true faith in the one true God can triumph no matter what outward packaging you put on your beliefs.

For the discussion questions go here.

2. Elizabeth believes if she serves the Lord diligently, He will reward her efforts. Often we too think we can earn God's favor by serving him. What’s wrong with this philosophy? Does God's love and blessing really depend on anything we do? Or does he bestow blessings because of his great love and mercy?
We all think that at some point right? Our motivation for what we do is out of desiring to be blessed by God. We forget that even our best is not good enough (Isaiah 64:6), and that we do what He commands us because He calls us friends (John 15:14). We receive blessings because we are adopted heirs of God and because He is good. It's also good to remember that blessings aren't always what they seem. Don't assume because something isn't how you would want it, that it isn't a blessing.

5. John's quest to serve the Lord through preaching eventually became more about what he was accomplishing than about God's glory. What examples have you seen where people in ministry lose perspective and end up neglecting marriages and/or family in their efforts to build their ministry?
This is one of my pet peeves, if you can call it that. I read a book a while back about the marriages of some of the fathers of our faith. Some were wonderful husbands, and some were terrible. In the Bible, Paul says he thinks it's better to not be married, and if you're going to live like you're not married I'd have to agree. How some people can think, I'm going to get married because that's what I'm supposed to do, but then I'm going to live the exact same way I did as a single person is ridiculous. It takes a special kind of man and a special kind of woman to live together as a married couple in extreme circumstances such as John and Elizabeth discovered. It's not something that should be entered into lightly, and we should all be praying for couples in ministry. It's a hard balance.

I really enjoyed this book. It challenged and frustrated me, but it encouraged me as well. For those who are interested in reading it, it's still free for your kindle on Amazon, but I can't guarantee how long that will last. For more discussion head on over to The Overweight Bookshelf with Lydia.

Don't forget to come back on November 5th for the next book in the Christian Fiction Book Club discussion: Dancing on Glass by Pamela Ewen