Tag Archives: coffee

Saturday Family Time

What a beautiful Saturday morning! Warm weather, gentle breeze, blue skies! We got up early and went to Tandem Creperie in downtown Travelers Rest to meet up with my cousin Anna from Boston and a friend Allison, along with the babies. So good to catch up! And the coffee and crepes are always a delicious start to the day!

Then we walked around various little shops in TR till Bryan had to go to work. Kyle fell asleep in the stroller on our walk, so I decided to keep walking the Swamp Rabbit Trail. He woke up about an hour later and this was my view: cute little fingers and toes, toddler trail mix (cheerios, goldfish, and puffs), and a sippy cup of milk and strawberry-banana smoothie–held on by a “SippyPal” strap (amazing invention!).

Came home, ate a little lunch, read “The Little Blue Engine That Could” and played with trains, dinosaurs and soccer balls (#boymom) till Kyle went down for his nap. Thankfully, he’s napping well today, so I got a chance to sweep and straighten up the house…and blog a little. peanuts-movie-sweeps_pbNext up is dinner with Anna and my sister’s family–grilled cheese sandwiches and the Pioneer Woman’s “Best Ever Tomato Soup” (I can’t stop making this soup!). And I picked up a copy of “The Peanuts Movie” to watch with the kids (throwback to Kyle’s bday party a few weeks ago).

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Advertisements

Recent Readings and Reflections…

I have don’t a lot of writing recently, but I have been doing a little more reading. So, I wanted to share some articles that I’ve been reading recently. Warning: many of these are hot topics in the Christian world today, and some are uncomfortable, but in order to preach the full counsel of God, we are forced to deal with the hard topics too.

My friend Holly Stratton recently wrote, “The world is changing fast, and we need God to fill us with a love for Christ that is strong enough not to be left in the dust w/ our petty preferences. We need ministry leaders who are too driven by gospel conviction & Spirit power to be hindered by fear that they’re not honoring the preferences of others. Not leaders who don’t care what others think, but leaders who care deeply what others think. Humble leaders who care enough to boldly & confidently call for a self-forgetfulness that doesn’t allow the demanding of one’s own way. We may not like change, but we’ll dislike irrelevance even more. For the glory of God, let’s move.” (Author’s Note: “Relevant: related, pertinent, connected, applicable. The gospel is always relevant. Always. Ministries & people, however, are continually faced with decisions within the bounds of sound doctrine & biblical authority that can needlessly render them irrelevant.”)

One interesting article, along those lines, that a friend shared was “Keeping Young Fundamentalists in the Camp” by Jeff Amsbaugh. Amsbaugh writes, “My heart is not to eradicate the fundamental movement but to correct the abuses of it. These words are offered as a friend from within, not an enemy from without. But if the caricature of fundamentalism that we have presented is not replaced with an authentic model, my fear is that we will lose even more young preachers in the coming days. And though part of it may be attributable to the ‘coming apostasy,’ a good portion of it may be because of the raging lunacy. God help us to keep the baby but get rid of the bath water, for the bath water is indeed dirty.”

One of the more difficult topics I’ve been studying is homosexuality. It’s been a taboo topic for too long, and lots of young people, especially, are struggling with same sex attraction. It’s time we came alongside them, empathized as fellow sinners, and showed grace and hope for change by conformity to the Word of God. Here’s an article that gives one perspective: “When Two Lesbians Walk into a Church Seeking Trouble” (an excerpt from John Burke’s book, Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others Through the Eyes of Jesus). Burke says, “Do you realize that Jesus is not shocked by the shocking things people do?” He gives examples of Christ dealing with Zaccheus, the Samaritan woman, and Simon the Pharisee, and goes on to say, “It’s all about love! Don’t miss this very critical point Jesus makes to us all: If you truly recognize how much it cost God to forgive you, it will flood your heart with love for God and others who need more of the same;” and again, “It’s all about love! Not a love that ignores the mud and the damage that destroys God’s Masterpiece, but a love that recognizes how much loving mercy God has given a messed-up person like me! … That great love brings grace and truth together to give hope to a broken world in need of forgiveness and restoration.”

Another topic is modesty, and Jefferson Bethke wrote an interesting articled called “The Idolatry of Modesty.” Regardless of what you might think of Bethke, he makes some good points in this article. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Above that though, bring glory to God through your clothes. Dress in such a way that points to your Savior and Creator, not yourself. … Remember that clothes (and the attitude that puts on those clothes) are simply an outflow of what’s in the heart. … So, ladies, let our Savior’s grace, rather than your righteousness, be exalted through your dress.”

And yet another topic I’ve been thinking about is marriage.  I read an article called, “What You Really Need in Marriage” by Mark Altrogge. Altrogge says, “Our culture is extremely self-oriented. We are continually bombarded by messages that tell us we need greater self-esteem. We begin to think, I need to do this for me, I need to be validated, I need to feel good about myself, I need to think about my desires for a change, etc.”

Often we convince ourselves that our desires, wishes, wants, and even lusts are actually needs. It’s an easy error to make, especially in an “It’s-all-about-you” culture. But it’s important to constantly go back to the word…ground yourself…intentionally…to know what God says is really a need.

Speaking of intentionality and marriage, one couple had a brilliant idea that I read about in an article by Sarah Lang, called “A Slower Cup“: “A couple reflects on the slow and methodical brewing technique [of coffee] that allows them to spend time together and offers a relaxed start to their day.” What a great way to start the day…slow, intentional, and calm! Lang writes, “A beverage as alluring, delicious and influential as coffee should be savored.” I couldn’t agree more. And whether you take time to savor a quiet, slow cup of coffee (or tea) with your spouse or your Savior or both, make it intentional and enjoy the moment.

Photographs by Chantelle Grady

And while we’re on the topic of slowing down and being intentional, I read two articles by Leslie Ludy called, “Running on Empty and Refueling Our Souls” and “When Your Soul Needs Rest.” I’m working on being more intentional about refreshing and refueling my otherwise empty soul. Ludy says, “Taking time away to refresh and refuel should flow from a motive of becoming even stronger and more equipped to serve Jesus Christ—not simply to ‘escape’ from the responsibilities of serving and godly living. … Instead of looking to the empty allurements of the world to find the refreshment we seek, may we remember that He alone is the One who can fulfill us, revive us, and meet our every need.”

Sometimes we allow our culture to dictate our beliefs, instead of the other way around. And sometimes we allow lies to creep in. Other times, we make excuses for our sin, or expect perfection instead of the process of sanctification. I’ve been reminded over and over again recently of Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (NKJV). And the prayer of my heart is that I would focus on those three things. That I would be intentional about doing the next right thing. That I would love mercy and grace and love and truth. And that above all, I would walk humbly…not in conceit or pride or biting or devouring (Galatians 5, again), but that I would walk in reality of my depravity and the greatness of God’s saving grace that is both humbling and awe-inspiring.

Finally, I want to share two songs that have meant a lot to me recently. The first is one of my favorite songs, “Before the Throne of God Above.” It was a special part of our Baltic Musical Mission Team in 2003! Guitar, flute, and a bunch of crazy Americans singing their lungs out for Jesus on street corners and buses, in churches, schools, and hospitals, in Poland and Latvia. And it’s as powerful today as it was then.
When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me
 
[Verse 2 from “Before the Throne of God Above“; Original Words by Charitie Lees Bancroft (1841-1892), Alternate Words and Music by Vikki Cook]

And the second song is a new favorite “Across the Lands” (Townend/Getty):

May God give you grace to live intentionally, loving Him, loving others, doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with your God. Enjoy the journey, friends, and find rest in God alone along the way.

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:

photo-20

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 103-105

Day 103: Saturday, April 13, 2013

Slept in. Eggs for a late breakfast with a fresh fruit salad and a fine French Press of coffee! Then we filled our water bottles and headed to Paris Mountain for a five mile hike! It was a gorgeous day! Bryan had a few hours of work later on, and I caught up on some chores. Then our friends Dave and Rachel came over for an evening of fun and fellowship. I experimented and made some candied grapefruit peels…which I’m kind of addicted to right now. I definitely want to try candying some orange and tangerine peels next!

Day 104: Sunday, April 14, 2013

After a fabulous morning at church, Bryan and I decided to take a Sunday afternoon drive–a fun tradition we started while we were dating that we haven’t done in a while. We ended up at Doc Chey’s Noodle House…in Asheville.

Then we walked around for a couple of hours and stopped by Posana Cafe before heading home for the day. I got a Cortado (espresso cut with steamed milk–an indulgence for sure) and a mini biscotti. The setting was beautiful, the barista was friendly, and I only wish we could have stayed for the dinner menu (it looked fabulous). We will have to return!

Day 105: Monday, April 15, 2013

Another long, yet productive day at work! Had leftover Thai black bean noodles from Doc Chey’s for lunch, then came home to chicken rice curry pot! Bryan has nearly perfected this dish! I cleaned up, since he cooked all afternoon! Had our friend Collins over and it was a good time of Gospel conversations! Thankful for God’s visible work in our local assembly!

Journey Journal: Days 96-97

Day 96: Saturday, April 6, 2013

Slept in. Breakfast of Ezekiel 4:9 Golden Flax cereal with raspberries, banana slices, and almond milk, and a French Press of coffee. Went to Goga for 20 minutes of workout and 15 minutes of sauna time. Brought a book to read in the sauna (Reckless Abandon by David Sitton, an autobiography of a missionary to PNG). After that, I came home, filled my water bottle, grabbed a granola bar, and went on a 5 mile walk in the neighborhoods surrounding ours. I am so thankful for this sunshine and the new blooms of springtime! After a hot shower, I met Bryan downtown, since he was there studying for his Microbiology test all day. I grabbed some red pepper strips and a mandarin orange on my way out the door and enjoyed them with a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad from Port City Java. He studied for a bit more, then we checked out the new Anthropology store downtown (very cool, by the way!) before heading to dinner at 21 East. Bryan got a burger with root beer caramelized onions and a side of fries; I wasn’t super hungry (since the salad wasn’t that long ago), so I just got a single cajun crawfish taco (which was delicious! I might just have to get the 3 for $10 next time). It was a relaxing evening! I love date night!

Day 97: Sunday, April 7, 2013

Church this morning. Then 2nd grade Journey Group, where we talked about God being “Unchanging.” Had my cousin, his girlfriend, and another friend over for a lunch of tacos and taco salad (beef with cumin and garlic; and shrimp with curry powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic; plus loads of fresh veggies). Shared a French Press of Columbian coffee with our guests. While Bryan and the gang continued to study, I went for another 5 mile walk…this time with book in hand. I read and walked and enjoyed the fresh air! Bryan grilled burgers for dinner, and I had a side of carrot sticks. Made some lemon corn muffins with a lemon glaze for dessert, which got gobbled up very quickly! (Recipe here; I used about a cup of powdered sugar instead of 1/3 c. white sugar in the glaze, and I used Jiffy cornbread mix instead of the suggested brand.) Will have to remember that! Watched some clips on Food Network, while sipping a vanilla almond iced coffee (leftovers from this afternoon’s brew). Time for a hot, Epsom salt bath before getting ready for bed and grabbing my book one more time for the weekend.

Journey Journal: Days 84-87

Day 84: Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday to “My Journey To Lean” blog! It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since I started this blog–and even longer since I first started blogging.(July 28, 2005 was my first ever blogpost!…almost 8 years ago now!) Lots has changed since it started, but I’m still enjoying the journey, and I hope you are too!

Bryan made up some scrambled eggs and warmed up some leftover ham with a little maple syrup for breakfast before work. It was really good.

For lunch, I had the ham and bean soup we made yesterday with a side salad. The soup was started by making ham broth out of the bone from Sunday dinner’s baked ham. After simmering for several hours, I discarded the bone and strained the broth (yielded about 12 cups), reserving as much ham as I could. Then I sautéed onion, carrots, and garlic in some olive oil with salt, pepper, a couple of bay leaves, crushed red pepper, and worcestershire sauce in the stockpot. I added about half of the broth back in, along with the ham meat (about 2 c.), a bag of frozen kale, and 1 cup each of dry red beans and dry Northern beans, and let it simmer for about 4 more hours, till the beans were perfect.

Had an adventure this afternoon when Bryan’s keys fell out of his pocket onto the carseat (after he had locked the car door). Oops. Then we realized we hadn’t made a copy for this car’s keys yet. Oops again. Fortunately, we were able to use a couple coat hangers and screwdrivers to get the keys. I’m actually surprised this was the first time we’ve had to do this–too bad it was one of the colder days of the year, and his jacket got locked inside the car with the keys (of course).

Day 85: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Long, busy day. We’re hitting crunch time with various deadlines at the office, and I’m working diligently on my multi-tasking skills. For lunch, the whole office headed to Brick Street Cafe for a special celebration lunch for Katie, our bookkeeper who is retiring after this week. She is an incredible asset and will be greatly missed! After work, I ran home for a quick supper of scrambled eggs and grilled ham (this time using cane syrup–actually turned out even better than the maple). Then I was off to meet a bride, her MOH, and her mom for a flower consult for her wedding this August! Finished the day with a cup of TAZO Zen green tea.

Day 86: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Another busy day. Another ham soup lunch. And actually had ham soup with salad and a hearty bread for dinner too. And finally made it to Goga today–especially enjoyed the lymphatic massage and infrared sauna portions!

Day 87: Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lunch was a chunk of hearty bread, a freshly sliced tomato, and some warm ham with spicy mustard. It hit the spot! Mom arrived for a brief visit tonight! Had the last of the ham and bean soup with a side salad and the last of the hearty bread for dinner. It really hit the spot. And it’s always good to have mother-daughter time! Finished the day with a French Press of Columbian coffee, a handful of almonds, a square of dark chocolate, and good conversation with mom.

Late Skate: Charity Event for Todd Lurtey TONIGHT

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 8.27.32 PMThis event is to raise money for the Lurtey family to help with expenses incurred as a result of Todd Lurtey’s Battle with cancer.

Todd and his family are active members of our church and an amazing testimony of God’s strength and hope. Todd turns 16 next week and has been battling cancer since early fall 2012. Tonight’s activities is at the Pavilion Recreation Complex in Taylors, South Carolina, and will include Ice Skating, Bounce House, Indoor Soccer and more! Family friendly.

Video created by Todd’s cousin Quinn.

$10 at the Door (suggested donation per person)

  • 80% of the proceeds from this event will go to the Lurtey Family.
  • 20% will be donated to cancer related beneficiaries in Todd’s name.

If you are unable to join the late skate, there is still an option to assist with expenses by either mailing a check or donating online. Checks may be made payable to: Lurtey Family Fund, 2502-B Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville, SC 29615. For additional information regarding the event or donating online, please see the event website: http://drumcreative.com/toddlurtey.

One of Praying for Todd Lurtey‘s friends has made a generous offer to go along with the Late Skate: Charity Event for Todd Lurtey. “Pledge to give $40 or more and receive a pound of this special ‘Beans on a Mission’ blend.” For more information please see Jonathan Pait’s link: http://www.idoitfor.org/toddlurtey/.

Micah Pretlove wrote a prayer guide for the Lurtey family:

  1. Todd personally
    1. Healing – IF it is God’s will
    2. Pain – that there won’t be much
    3. Comfort/peace – that he would really feel it
  2. His family
    1. Understanding – to know God’s will
    2. Rest – they’re exhausted
    3. Endurance – they will get through this
  3. Together as a family
    1. Closeness – continued bonding
    2. Fun
    3. Continued examples of Christlikeness

Todd got to be on Your Carolina this week, with his cousin and uncle, promoting this Late Skate Charity Event! Check it out here: http://www.yourcarolina.tv/video/entry/late_skate/. What a sweet testimony of God’s grace during extremely difficult times!

A Little Humor for Your Monday Morning…

Happy Monday!

Fourth of July Weekend: We Are Family!

The Fourth of July fell on a Monday this year, so we had an extra long weekend. My brother’s fiancée (Lissa) flew in from L.A. and met him (Jordan) and my parents in OH, then they all came down here to spend a long weekend with my sister (Michelle) and me. It was fun to meet Lissa and I think she’ll fit right in with our family.

Left to Right: Michelle (my twin sis) and Baby Mark, her husband Alan, Bryan, me, Lissa, Jordan (my bro), Micah (7), and Jordan Elliot (5) - (Mom and Dad - not shown)

We had SO much good food while they were here. My sister hosted a BBQ dinner one day, and I made Carnitas, Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice for lunch another day. Lissa made her Ceviche to go with the Beans and Rice. And for our last breakfast together, we made omelet cups, scones, and a giant fruit display!

Brunch! Mom made the Scones, Bryan helped with the Omelet Cups, and I made the Fruit Tray. It's always fun to be in the kitchen together!

Most of the fruit was from our organic produce basket from Milk and Honey Organics. The honeydew was from EarthFare (I had a coupon for a $2 watermelon, but they were out and graciously let me have the honeydew instead). I literally prayed on the way home that it would be a sweet honeydew (I’m not usually a big fan because they don’t always have a lot of flavor). This one was delicious!! I should pray over my grocery shopping more often!

Caught in the act: Jordan Elliot just couldn't wait for brunch! Those giant organic strawberries were just too tempting!

Not shown:

  • Bryan and Josh Spencer took engagement shots for Jordan and Lissa! I accompanied and helped pick out the shoot locations.
  • Lunch after the photo shoot at Mellow Mushroom.
  • Mom and Dad figuring out their new iPhones.
  • We had a showing on Friday before everyone arrived, so it made it easy to get the house clean for company. (Yes, the house is still for sale.)
  • Lots of laughs!
  • Inordinate amounts of coffee!