Tag Archives: busy

Journey Journal: Days 214-231

The last few weeks could be characterized by copious amounts of coffee accompanied by fabulous fellowship and foodie adventures, intermingled with thoughtful musings on articles and video clips. Check it out below.

“The relationship between coffee and well being” – picture courtesy of Stephen Altrogge

Day 214: Friday, August 2, 2013

Had another wedding today. Picked up the various pieces on Wednesday, started working on them on Thursday night, and finished up Friday morning–and actually got a full night’s sleep on this one!

This weekend’s wedding flower lineup included white hydrangeas, calla lilies and roses, blue delphinium, purple statice, peach wax flowers, green hypericum berries and grass…oh, and blue thistle!!  It turned out to be a beautiful combination! Here’s a sneak peek. I’ll post professional pics soon.

Day 215-216: Saturday and Sunday, August 3-4, 2013

More house projects. A FaceTime “coffee chat” with one of my best friends, Katie. Church. And a “breakfast for dinner” get together on Sunday night as a send-off for three of our friends who are moving away from Greenville–two to work with a church in NC (while the husband pursues ordination with the intent towards chaplaincy), and the other to teach English abroad. It was a really good time…though we will miss our friends.

Day 217: Monday, August 5, 2013

On Monday, a friend from church dropped off their first batch of eggs from their farm! Of course, that automatically meant I “had” to have eggs for dinner. So we made a batch of sausage gravy and served it over toast with a farm-fresh omelet filled with onions, peppers, goat cheese and basil, topped with arugula. So delicious! You know the eggs are fresh when they yolks are perky and deep orange. I was super excited to start getting these each week…that was, until a coyote (or neighbor’s dog) got into the chicken coop. Sad day…because these eggs were amazing! We savored egg dishes the rest of the week!

Day 218: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One of the video clips I was fascinated by this week is below. Talk about “trash to treasure”–this “Landfillharmonic” clip is amazing! Makes me thankful for all that we have:

Day 219-220: Wednesday through Thursday, August 7-8, 2013

I had some perfect peaches, so I decided to make peach pie to share with our Shepherding Group. It turned out pretty good, but I’m still working on my pie not being too runny. After Shepherding Group on Wednesday, I made stuffed peppers for the first time in ages. I found several recipes online and adapted them to be my own unique creation–recipe here.

On Thursday, I heated up the stuffed peppers and took them to lunch with my friends Shannah and Annette. Annette brought a corn salad and a cucumber salad; Shannah shared a fresh spinach salad with homemade maple vinaigrette and homemade peach pie with latticed crust and all–it was perfect!

I had plenty of leftover stuffing left that didn’t go in our peppers, so on Friday, I used them to fill hard corn taco shells–and they were fantastic! I topped the tacos and stuffing with fresh arugula, cilantro, and a dab of sour cream, along with the avocado sauce.

Day 221-222: Friday and Saturday, August 9-10, 2013

Friday lunch with an old high school friend that I was recently reunited with through work. Had our friends Kevin and Melissa over for dinner and games–recently we’ve been playing a lot of Dominion with them, but tonight they taught us a new game, Elder Sign–which is really fun! (Definitely on the Christmas wishlist 😉 ). Saturday was more work on the house. Helped the couple moving to NC pack up a bit and said final goodbyes (not that we won’t see them again soon). 😉 Lunch with my folks and sister–my parents were picking up my sister’s boys for a few days at the farm before school started. Then ran some errands and ended the day with having my sister Michelle and her husband Alan over for dinner (with only the new baby girl). We just made simple sandwiches and she brought some potato salad–and we taught them to play Dominion. It was a lot of fun! We should do that more often.

Day 223: Sunday, August 11, 2013

First Sunday not teaching in the children’s ministry for several years. It was kind of weird trying to figure out which Adult Life Application Group we fit best into. We ended up in Marriage Foundations, since we know a lot of the people in that class, and we really enjoyed it. We want to visit a couple more before we make our final decision–though any of them would be really good, I think.

Day 224-228: Monday through Thursday, August 12-15, 2013

Monday was a hugely successful day: got all my data exported and submitted for conversion at work! AND we got the majority of the insulation put up in the new room! Phew! I just have to say…if I “had” to install insulation in a hot room on a hot day, at least I got to do it with my hot husband! 😉

Read a really good article on marriage: God Loves Odd Couples. Marriage isn’t about being “perfectly compatible”…it’s about reflecting Christ. Very encouraging article.

Tuesday, I had my semi-annual dentist appointment, followed by a free birthday cupcake from Chocolate Moose–no, I didn’t tell the dentist where I was headed after my cleaning, and, yes, he did tell me I won a “mouth of the month” award! After work, I went on a long walk with a good friend, Jan. She’s a fantastic young mom of two and even though we aren’t able to get together as much as we’d like, every time we get together is always refreshing and uplifting.

Wednesday night after church, I had two friends over. Great night of fellowship with sisters in Christ who love Jesus, the Gospel and the power of Redemption! Enjoyed precious gifts of conversation, edification, good coffee, and orange cinnamon rolls.

Thursday night was dinner with some more friends, Ben and Ashley, whom we haven’t been able to catch up with in forever. Forgot that the 2 1/2 cups of coffee that I drank at dinner tonight was NOT decaf. Fail.

Day 228: Friday, August 16, 2013

Nothing like James Galway and fresh coffee on a rainy morning! I love classical flute! It’s been far too long since I played. After work, I grabbed a few ingredients and we headed over to our friends Daryl and Adrianne’s house. It was my first attempt at from-scratch banana pudding with meringue topping! I added freshly grated nutmeg and soaked the bananas in a little lime juice before adding them to the pudding with the Nilla wafers. While we made the dessert, the guys watched the grill and practiced their target shooting. It doesn’t get more Southern than this:

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Day 229-230: Saturday and Sunday, August 17-18, 2013

Progress on the house…windows and door are finally in in the new room! …along with framing, wiring, insulation, and subflooring! Plus new white posts instead of green rails on the front porch! More to come, but excited for the progress so far!

Sunday, we stopped by Panera and Starbucks for breakfast before church (wanted to use my free birthday drink). Caught up with several friends at church. Afterwards, we used some more birthday “freebie” e-coupons (World Market, etc.), then lunch with Bryan and an evening of hanging out…just the two of us! It was kind of a perfect day!

Day 231: Monday, August 19, 2013

Today I turned 32 years old. And the word that comes to mind is…blessed. I had a fantastic birthday! Tim and Debbie took me and Bryan out for lunch today, my friend Tami brought by a cute little flower pot to the office, the sun came out, and Bryan’s taking me out again tomorrow night for a nice dinner…plus lots of phone calls, messages, and emails that made me feel loved and appreciated. So thankful for the family and friends God has brought into our lives. As you can tell if you read the above post, it’s a busy stage of life for us, but it’s so rewarding and fulfilling!

Journey Journal: Days 182-201

coffee

The last few weeks, my life could pretty well be summed up by this picture. I feel like I’m finally getting back to a normal routine with normal sleep and normal family life. Here’s the basic gist:

Day 182: Monday, July 1, 2013

Busy day at work. Rolled out the Registration for our next big event: FX-TW 2013! FX-VB 2013 was great, but the Frontline Experience at the Wilds will have more sessions, more breakout sessions (including a special “Pastors’ Track”), and some amazing speakers! Come! Bring your friends! Bring your Young Adult class! Bring your pastors! Get excited about what God is doing through unconventional missions to unreached people groups! Come…and then go! Hope to see you all there! I cannot wait for the FX-TW conference on September 27-28th! More info at www.frontlineexperience.org!

Days 183-187: Tuesday-Saturday, July 2-6, 2013

On top of being insanely busy at work, I added to the insanity by accepting a request to be a sub on a friend’s paper route. What was I thinking?! I was thinking $500 for 2 weeks of getting up early. But I didn’t realize just HOW early those faithful people who toss printed papers on your driveway have to get up: let’s just say it was somewhere in the neighborhood of before 3AM. Yikes! I will say…the best part about subbing on a paper route (besides the extra cash) is being the first in line for a Panera breakfast date with my man! Fresh coffee. Quiet. Sunrise. (Yes, we did the whole two-week route together! Yes, it rained every single day! And, no, it is not worth it when you factor in cost of gas, lack of sleep, etc.!)

Days 188-189: Sunday-Monday, July 7-8, 2013

Still subbing the paper route and working full-time. So very tired! I am not a morning person–or at least not a “middle-of-the-night” person.

Day 190: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fantastic day of God-filled conversations! So thankful for refreshment of faithful friends and family! Had a friend stop by the office for a cup of coffee and conversation about her future plans as she headed to a new city to pursue further education, find a new job, and get plugged into a church in the city! After work, had dinner with my dear friend Faith and discussed contentment and the will of God–based on recent sermons we’ve heard, conversations we’ve had, and books we’ve read. Finally, just before bed, I was able to talk on the phone with my grandma who turned 90 today! She is one of the most amazing people I have ever known–and she gives all the glory to Jesus!! So thankful for a godly heritage! Happy Birthday, Grandma T! Went to bed refreshed and encouraged, despite the exhaustion.

Days 191-193: Wednesday-Friday, July 10-12, 2013

panera celebrationLast few days of the paper route. Few things are as enjoyable on a quiet afternoon as dark chocolate, almonds, and coffee.

Celebrated the last paper route on Thursday morning with breakfast at Panera (part of their “hidden menu”). It was two eggs, thinly sliced steak, sliced tomatoes, and avocado with a cup of their Dark Roast (definitely needed that).

Mom made it into town on Thursday. So, on Friday night, we had my mom, my sister and brother-in-law and the nephews over for homemade pizza and kale salad. They loved it! And it’s the last time I’ll get to say “my sister and the boys”–she’s due to have a baby girl any day now!

Days 194-195: Saturday-Sunday, July 13-14, 2013

Welcomed Kassia Jane to the world on Saturday morning! Mom and baby doing well…and she is precious!! Spent the day with my mom and the nephews at our house, while Bryan (“Uncle B”) and his dad (“Uncle B’s dad…Papa”) worked on the back room project (the outside walls are officially up and it is looking like an actual room!). Finally made it up to the hospital for the boys to meet their little sister around 4p.m. on Saturday, and as soon as we walked in, little Mark got sick. Poor kid. Needless to say, the visit was cut short. Fortunately, it didn’t last long…whatever it was.

Sunday night, after several busy, busy weeks, we decided to do date night at the new Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Greenville tonight. Fantastic burgers and fries–and we sat where we could watch the kitchen in action! Everything looked delicious! We’ll be back!

Days 196-200: Monday-Friday, July 15-19, 2013

Still getting back to a normal sleep and work schedule, while hosting and visiting family. It’s been a busy week in the office. Wednesday, I posted to FB:

3 instant messages, 5 email inboxes, and 2 phone calls going on at the same time. #oneofthosedays

And “one of those days” it was, indeed! But it was all worth it. By the end of the week, all of our new English teachers’ paperwork was complete and their flights were booked to head to China next month! There are still a few more details to complete to get them ready, but we are praising God for how He is working on their behalf! This is a very exciting time! On top of that, our test site for the new database system is up (training starts on Monday)! Dad arrived Friday morning. Friday night, Michelle decided to rest at home with the baby, while Alan and the boys, along with my folks, came over for a spaghetti dinner! It really hit the spot!

Day 201: Saturday, July 20, 2013

Plans for today involve laundry (for us and my sister), hanging out with family, Bryan helping with a banquet at church, and rest. Definitely rest!

Journey Journal: Days 169-181

Day 169-171: Tuesday-Thursday, June 18-20, 2013

For the most part, we still stuck to our GF DF diet. We hosted Shepherding Group on Wednesday night, and I did a fruit, nut, and cheese tray (while avoiding the cheese…mostly) and bought a box of Publix’s oatmeal raisin cookies.

Day 172-174: Friday-Sunday, June 21-23, 2013

Friday was our semi-annual board meeting at the office, followed by a cookout. Bryan grilled the burgers and hot dogs for us and we brought some corn chips, buns, and drinks; someone brought condiments, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, etc.;  someone else brought baked beans; and the host made potato salad, deviled eggs, and banana pudding. It was a lot of work, and I think everyone was ready for the weekend by the end of that week.

Saturday involved running by Starbucks on the way to getting my haircut–of course, I picked up my stylist’s favorite espresso drink as well! And I love my new haircut! Then we ran errands, and I hung out with my sister and her boys while Bryan helped shoot a wedding. After the wedding shoot, we went to a baseball game and stopped by some friends’ house to hang out for about an hour before crashing at home.

Sunday involved a wonderful morning service, followed by 2nd grade Journey Group–about Loving God. Then we went to Olive Garden with our young adult group (gotta love all-you-can-eat salad and soup for $6.95), followed by having them come over for the afternoon and evening. It was a really good time of fellowship.

Day 175-179: Monday-Friday, June 24-28, 2013

A long week with some late nights, but it was a very productive week. We still ate less gluten and dairy, but not totally GF DF. As we added the gluten back in slowly, I did not notice any issues; as for the dairy, definitely going to try to avoid it as much as possible going forward. On Friday, we had dinner with Bryan’s dad and he helped us with our materials list for our back room project. I  picked up Pizza Hut and stopped by the grocery store for this week’s groceries.

Day 180-181: Saturday-Sunday, June 29-30, 2013

Saturday involved cleaning, lots of laundry, mowing the lawn, and going to Lowe’s to pick out our windows and doors for the back room project! (We’re waiting till their sale starts on Wednesday to actually order though.) We hung out with our friend Carissa for a bit; I brought kale salad with crumbled bacon, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and goat cheese with a bacon vinaigrette dressing…so yummy! We ate it with some thin cracker crisps! Delicious! Then Bryan went to play soccer while I finished the laundry and cleaning.

Sunday is morning worship followed by elder community groups–no Sunday School or evening service, just dedicated fellowship time and some good rest! Hoping to get back to the gym this coming week–I’ve been too busy for too long, and this heat is ridiculous, so I definitely want to be indoors, but I do need to get active again for sure.

Journey Journal: Days 129-148 (Catching Up)

Has it really been 20 days since I wrote a blog post?! My sincerest apologies, but “busy” does not even come close to describing the last three weeks! Don’t worry–there have been some moments of calm.

Day 129: Thursday, May 9, 2013

Today was an exciting day! Bryan officially changed his major to Culinary Arts today! Let the cooking begin…or continue, rather! This is one very excited wife! He’s been at Greenville Tech for the last year taking some basic courses, but starting in August, he’ll be in the Culinary program (great news: everything he’s taken so far actually applies to the new major!). This was a long process, but I am excited to see him pursue one of his greatest passions–food! Below is one of his most recent creations: a Curried Chicken BLT with a special sauce and fried egg!

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Day 130: Friday, May 10, 2013

Today, a 16-year old boy in our church, Todd Lurtey, lost his battle with cancer. It was a very sad week, and we will miss him very much, but we are thankful that he is no longer suffering and in the arms of His Savior! There are no words…just love and grief and prayers. One thing is sure: Todd is in heaven smiling with that big, beautiful smile next to His Savior. Todd was known for his smile–and as big as it was on earth, I can only imagine how huge his heavenly smile is!

The Lurteys have had a beautiful testimony through this incredibly difficult trial–through the pain and tears, through the questions and even sometimes doubt, they have shown the grace and trust in our great Savior; they have counted every day with Todd as a gift and blessed God. I just realized that exactly four years ago today was when Brenda first shared her testimony of the beginning of this trial. I am so thankful to be a part of our church family at Heritage–to see what the hands of Jesus look like–to see how the body of Christ

Day 131: Saturday, May 11, 2013

This morning, I got to babysit three of my nephews. Then my parents stopped by for a lunch of turkey burgers and salmon sandwiches. I was able to give my mom her Mother’s Day gift and chat for a while–the visits are never long enough! Then later today, we finally sold our motorcycle!

Day 132: Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother’s Day! Today’s 2nd grade Journey Group involved extra singing and creating special Mother’s Day cards with the kids. Neither of our moms were in town today, so after church, we headed to Paris Mountain State Park for a 5.5 mile hike! We went on some new-to-us trails and it was a really beautiful day!

Day 133: Monday, May 13, 2013

Today we heard of another friend who died last night. Grieving with those who grieve. Thankful that because of Jesus there is hope in despair, comfort in sorrow, and healing for suffering. May the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 12:15; II Cor. 4:14-18; Phil. 4:7)

Days 134-136: Tuesday through Thursday, May 14-16, 2013

Excited to hear that GOGA studios bought out their franchise and changed the name to iVIVA (i for you and me, V for Vibration, I for infrared sauna, V for vitality, A for alkaline water)! I love the new name! If you haven’t checked it out yet, it is a fantastic and refreshing routine!

One of things I’ve missed the most since switching to a dairy-free diet is mac-n-cheese, so I tried a new recipe and was pleasantly surprised with this Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce. I used gluten-free spiral pasta, soy milk and nutritional yeast, and added garlic and dijon for an extra kick of flavor!

Read of the day: “Why God Gave Us The Church, Not Superman” – There is no such thing as “Super-Christians,” so go ahead and take your cape back to Goodwill, please.

Day 137: Friday, May 15, 2013

Worked till about 1:30, then closed up shop to attend Todd’s funeral. Though sad, it was a celebration of life in Christ. After the funeral, we packed up the car and drove down to SE Georgia for our niece’s high school graduation. Spent the night at Bryan’s aunt’s and uncle’s house–so nice to see them again!

Day 138: Saturday, May 16, 2013

Woke up early and headed to Ciera’s graduation! So excited for her as she closes this chapter and begins a new one. After graduation, we were able to spend a little while with Ciera and her folks before heading home for Sunday. It was a whirlwind trip but totally worth it.

Day 139: Sunday, May 17, 2013

Quote of the day: “The fuel of worship is a true vision of the greatness of God; the fire that makes the fuel burn white hot is the quickening of the Holy Spirit; the furnace made alive and warm by the flame of truth is our renewed spirit; and the resulting heat of our affections is powerful worship, pushing its way out in confessions, longings, acclamations, tears, songs, shouts, bowed heads, lifted hands, and obedient lives.” ~John Piper

Taught 2nd grade Journey group in the a.m. Hosted the Young Professionals class for pizza and salad for the evening. What a fun group! I think there were people in nearly every room of the house and on the front porch–talking, eating, playing Taboo, games on the Wii–it was fantastic!

Day 140: Monday, May 20, 2013

7 years ago today I married my best friend Bryan! So thankful for his love, his leadership, and his ability to make me laugh even on the hardest days. My cousin and his girlfriend gave us an amazing “thank you” gift card to The Lazy Goat–and we spent it all (and then some)! We had steak and parmesan truffle fries, fried goat cheese with honey and crushed pistachios (definitely ordering those again), Moroccan fried chicken with falafel waffles, and–our favorite–Duck, Duck, Goat pizza with duck meat, a duck egg, goat cheese, arugula, and balsamic soaked dried cherries! It was so nice to look out over the Reedy River and not have to cook (or clean up)–just enjoy one another!

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Days 141-144: Tuesday through Friday, May 21-24, 2013

Several busy days of work–lots of upcoming events, Dispatches sales, upgrading some technology stuff, etc. Friday night we were able to get together with two other couples for a fantastic Cashew Chicken stir-fry, a game of Settlers, and a dessert of fresh fruit topped with toasted nuts and Rice Krispies and drizzled with a raspberry puree. So much fun!

Day 145: Saturday, May 25, 2013

Brunch with our friends Jordan and Sarah! I made up a new recipe for Sour Cream Pancakes with Cream and Berry Compote toppings! I would share the recipe…but I’m pretty sure I want to save it for “The Cookbook” (thinking more and more seriously about writing one, so I’m starting to save up some recipes for the “testing” phase).

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My sister and her boys came over for a couple hours this afternoon–had fun playing Jenga and Wii with them! Went for a walk with Bryan, then randomly got together for a game of Dominion and coffee with our friends Nate and Leigh!

Day 146: Sunday, May 26, 2013

Really enjoying this group of 2nd graders in our Journey Group! Had fun talking about our Exalted God and applying it to their lives! Had a headache and it’s been a pretty exhausting couple of weeks, so Bryan took me to Panera for lunch–it was a nice treat! After evening service, we had several of the young adults over for a cookout. Bryan made his famous curry burgers, Laurie brought some fantastic homemade guacamole, and I made some potato wedges. We are really enjoying getting to know these friends!

Day 147: Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day! Had an absolutely fantastic day with Bryan’s side of the family. Started with blueberry pancakes at his folks’ house at 8AM and finished with a delicious BBQ dinner at his sister’s. After the long day, we came home, lit some candles and listened to some classical violin on the back porch, and shared our dreams for the future. So thankful for a man who is romantic and teaches me to relax all at the same time.

Day 148: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

After work, we came home and fired up the grill one more time for a dinner of ribs, baked beans, salad and chips with some dear friends from church. We are so thankful for Aaron and Marjeana and their love for Christ, their love for the people around them, the way they raise their children, and their passion for growing in grace and coming alongside others to grow in that same grace! For dessert, we had fruit and ice cream (well, they had ice cream–I’m still avoiding the dairy)–and we introduced them to balsamic vinegar as an ice cream topping! (I know it sounds weird, but the tiniest bit can be truly fantastic!) The kids played Wii while we reminisced and laughed and got to know each other a little bit better.

So, 20 very full days are behind us–days of sadness mixed with days of joy, mundane days mixed with days that symbolize major life changes, days of busyness and friends and family, but most of all days filled with seeing God work and learning to wait on Him and accept His gifts when He gives them for as long as He gives them. God is good–all the time!

One Busy Week in Review

Tis the Season for holiday hecticness! I’m almost done with Christmas shopping. I have a few more small items I want to get Bryan, but other than that, I think all I have to do is finish wrapping gifts and tucking them under the tree! It certainly has been a busy time, ever since we got back from our little mini-post-Thanksgiving-vacation in Tennessee. I haven’t had a lot of time to post, so let me share a semi-brief recap.

Let’s start with last Friday. A dear friend and coworker, Grace, is moving away soon, so a group of us got together and had a sushi lunch at Murasaki downtown to celebrate and wish her well in her new endeavor.

That night, I started decorating for Christmas. I pulled out all the Christmas China and stemware and started setting up the dining room.

 Saturday was a wonderful day! Bryan came home from work around 9:30AM (my night shift man) and we decorated the Christmas tree! It’s a sky blue, white,  and copper/brown theme this year, and of course we always hang the little wooden bear ornaments.

I attempted my first batch of homemade English Muffins, using Simply Life’s recipe. They turned out pretty good. I used white wheat flour instead of the recommended combination of whole wheat and all purpose, and my yeast was a bit old, so I added a little extra “for good measure” and I also think the heat on my stove was a little high for the griddling process, so they were slightly different from the recipe, but they were still tasty. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.

But since those had to rise twice, I decided to make some Pomegranate Orange Scones using ingredients from last week’s basket. They were so good!

I even got a “retweet” from the recipe’s creator, Gina @runtothekitchen.

I bought a white tablecloth for the dining room and two cranberry red taper candles for the crystal candle holders we got at our wedding five plus years ago (not shown). And I put up the mini tree in the dining room with all of my “produce” ornaments. Yes, there’s a little chef’s coat that says “Bon Appetit,” one of my favorite sayings, and all kinds of hand-crafted ornaments from Poland in the forms of fruits and vegetables! I found them at Sur La Table last year, my mom bought several pieces for me for Christmas and I bought several more in the after-Christmas online sale. Now, that’s my kind of tree!

There’s even a precious little garden gnome with his own produce wheelbarrow!

I found a special treat in the Christmas decoration boxes this year that I had forgotten about from last year. Tucked neatly under the tree skirt was my set of Christmas pint glasses that I purchased last year on after-Christmas clearance! I love the gold lettering, even if they do have to be hand-washed.

After a day full of decorating (and cleaning up from decorating), Saturday ended with a dinner of Chicken Lentil Soup with my friend Shannah, and some coffee and scones. I love hanging out with like-minded friends (and including coffee with fellowship is always a win).

Sunday started with going to morning service with Bryan at Heritage, followed by teaching 2nd grade Sunday school. This week’s lesson was on the Trinity and Unity of God. That afternoon included some fellowship and a time of rest for me.

Monday night, I had lunch with a new friend Tami from church. It’s amazing how God can bring people from different backgrounds together to have such a special bond in Christ!

Monday night, I had the privilege of attending a ladies’ banquet at Locust Hill Baptist Church and hearing Gracia Burnham share her testimony of God’s grace through being a missionary in the Philippines, being captured, being rescued the same day her husband was killed, and walking in faith while raising her children without him. I remember praying for their release back when I attended a small Christian high school in Ohio, and tonight I had the pleasure of meeting Gracia and shaking her hand. She took my hand and hugged my neck, and graciously agreed to let me share her story on my blog. She truly lives up to the name Gracia, as she walks in grace towards her fellow mankind, even sharing the Gospel with her former captors! And I pray for those in attendance who do not know Christ, that they will remember the words they heard and trust Him alone for their salvation.

Tuesday night was Bible study. We served a baked potato bar and salad bar, which is always fun. And we discussed topics relating to confrontation, edification, and our obligation for accountability among fellow believers.

Wednesday night was Shepherding Group. We love our Shepherding Group at Heritage Bible Church and are thankful for how the Lord is knitting this diverse group of believers together in His Name and for His Glory! Bryan and I went out for a quick date night dinner before Shepherding Group for a little “us time” in the middle of this busy week.

Thursday night was my office Christmas party. In the last couple of months, our good friend Dave joined the team, working in IT, so it was fun to have him and his wife Rachel with us at the party this year. I thought the food was great, the decorations were well done, and overall, it was a good time had by all. We left early, since Bryan had to work, but it was just long enough to have a nice meal, mingle for a bit, and relax with friends. Plus, it’s always fun to have an opportunity to get dressed up a bit.

Friday was our Sunday school Christmas party (no, not the 2nd graders – our adult Sunday school that we’re apart of when we’re not on rotation to teach – the LifeBuilders class with Pastor McCormick). What a refreshing time to catch up!

On top of all this is full-time work as an Executive Assistant, plus blogging here and for Milk and Honey Organics, trying to keep the house clean, laundry done, and yard in decent shape, and still see family and friends, all while staying sane.

Next week shouldn’t be quite as busy, but it is a busy time of year for sure. We’re looking forward to welcoming our brother-in-law James home from Afghanistan and seeing family for Christmas!

Oh, and one more exciting thing for me over the past week or so was having some very positive feedback on Twitter from my posts using PepperPlate.com as a Meal Planning Tool! Check out what they had to say:

Today was filled with fellowship with my friend Gina, running errands, hanging out with my sister and her boys, babysitting the neighbor kids so they’re parents could wrap up Christmas shopping for them (this included making shortbread press cookies and gingerbread and teaching them to play Blokus, along with much laughter).

I hope you had a fun-filled week and are beginning your preparations for worship tomorrow. Good night!

I hope you had a wonderful time

Is It the Weekend Yet?!

This week has been incredibly long for some reason! Maybe it’s that last weekend was so packed full of excitement that I didn’t rest like normal (though I did crash on Sunday afternoon – I was so tired I went to bed as soon as we got home from church at 12:30 and Bryan had to wake me at 6:30p so I would be able to sleep the whole night through…which I did).

Monday and Wednesday were filled with work, workout, and Anatomy/Physiology class. Tuesday, I printed out all my study materials for Nutrition for the week. And tonight will be studying for my Nutrition test (it’s due Friday by midnight and I’ve been postponing it). This week in Nutrition is all about Vitamins, Minerals, and Water. It’s really good stuff, just a lot to remember! So far I have an A in both classes and I plan on keeping it, so it’s going to take some hard study tonight. I might just have to pack up my books and find a park bench or coffee shop to hull up in. It was so much easier to hide in the university’s library than it is to try to study at home (when I was in college the first time, that is).

I’m working on a post (in my head) about the connection between strength training and its effects on bones and not just muscles. It’s really fascinating and I’m more and more convinced that everyone needs to do strength training at least a couple times a week! Here’s a glimpse: Did you know that when you do strength training, the area that’s impacted actually strengthens bones at the impact sites as well as muscles?! You’ve heard that when you break a bone it gets stronger at the break site and won’t break in the same place twice. Well, the same principle applies. When you workout, the bones and muscles create miniature tears/fractures and then you give them a day to rest and the bone cells and muscle cells generate new cells to fill in and repair the miniature “breaks,” thus making the bones/muscles stronger. Wow!

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the weekend. Bryan’s brother and sister in law (and her family) are in town and I’m looking forward to hanging out with them. Julie’s one of my kindred spirits and I miss her! And I’m hoping to see my family too! Plus we have a baby shower we’re supposed to go to, and I really hope we get to make it! Another one of my kindred spirits, Kristin, is having her first baby, and I can’t wait to give her my gift for baby Katie. 🙂 So, another busy weekend is ahead, but hopefully it will be restorative too. I’d love to get in another 5 mile run! We’ll see if that happens.