Tag Archives: friends

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!

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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!

Interesting Articles and Tips for College-Age Students

It’s back to school and the blogosphere is flooded with tons of helpful tips, advice, and info about heading back to college…or jumping in for the first time.

First, I read two articles specifically addressing “20-somethings.” The first was “The 20 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me at 20” by Dr. Karin L. Smithson on HuffingtonPost.com. It has some good reminders worth reading as so many head back to school…about picking friends, staying healthy, the importance of family and faith, etc.

The second was “20 Things 20 Year Olds Don’t Get” by Jason Nazar on Forbes.com. For all my friends heading back to college…or just out of college…or just trying to build traction in your careers, this article contains some fairly sound advice. It’s not necessarily that young people “don’t get it” but rather some good career tips that they “should get,” or maybe “don’t get yet,” or “what to strive for.” From productivity to professionalism, online etiquette to face to face communication, reputation and fiscal responsibility, this article hits the key topics that are crucial for young people to grasp early on if they desire to be successful.

Also, I’m noticing lots of college-age or recent post-college grads struggling with “discerning God’s will for their lives.” One book I recently read that I wish I had read when I started college is Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something. See my recent book review here. Also, remember that you don’t have to read every spiritual self-help book known to man; if you have a Bible and read it regularly, seek godly counsel, and prayer, those three things are more valuable than any “how to” book or article out there.

In regards to what to major in, I read “The Decline and Fall of the English Major” by Verlyn Klinkenborg on NYTimes.com. It is sad to hear that the number of students majoring in English is declining. I could have majored in a great number of things, but I am continually thankful that I majored in English. It has been invaluable in every aspect of my life–personally, professionally, socially, even spiritually. The most beneficial classes I took were probably Critical Writing with Dr. Horton and Philosophy of Education with Dr. Salter (both should be required by every major, in my humble opinion). To think clearly and logically and to be able to write concisely and coherently are two of the most precious yet neglected treasures in this culture. Klinkenborg writes: “Writing well used to be a fundamental principle of the humanities, as essential as the knowledge of mathematics and statistics in the sciences. But writing well isn’t merely a utilitarian skill. It is about developing a rational grace and energy in your conversation with the world around you.” and “No one has found a way to put a dollar sign on this kind of literacy, and I doubt anyone ever will. But everyone who possesses it — no matter how or when it was acquired — knows that it is a rare and precious inheritance.” Well said, Verlyn.

Finally, it’s important in your college years to stay healthy in this fast-paced, stress-filled season of life. Here’s a fun “Cheat Sheet for Healthy School Lunches” from The Honest Co.:

Journey Journal: Days 123-128

Day 123: Friday, May 3, 2013

Today was fun–surprise lunch with my aunt and uncle who are here for various friends’ and family’s graduations. Met up with Bryan at “China” for some beef and broccoli and egg rolls. It was nice to catch up. After work, we headed to a graduation party for our friend Josh who just finished a Masters in English. It was good to catch up with Josh, his girlfriend, other friends and former English professors.

Day 124: Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rainy day…and I mean RAINY! Omelets for breakfast, then a Starbucks and Lowe’s run. We kept lunch light. For dinner, we went over to our friend Carissa’s and made her some curry. It was quite possibly Bryan’s best curry yet! And he broiled some fresh broccoli and steamed some rice on the side. SO yummy! We will definitely have to do that again.

Day 125: Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy 1st Anniversary to my brother and his wife! We had a good day of services at church and a special Cinco de Mayo dinner with our young adult group (or part of it)–homemade tacos with fresh cilantro and avocados, chips and salsa. I especially enjoyed the testimonies of some of our church family who are headed out on missions trips this summer. The one that particularly caught my attention was from Brooke. In the morning service, there was a baby dedication; during Brooke’s testimony, she talked about how she had been dedicated to the Lord on that very platform over 20 years before, and she talked about how the church had loved her and trained her and equipped her to go out. It was a beautiful testimony of God’s grace in His Body. After the evening service, Bryan and I had leftover tacos, and he taught me how to play a new card game.

Day 126: Monday, May 6, 2013

Hoops and Yoyo apparently know how I feel today–too much Monday, not enough coffee! After work, Bryan and I went for a walk and then went over to Carissa’s house again to hang out with her and her puppy Gideon. I love how the conversation always turns to the Gospel when she’s around! We chatted for an hour or so before heading home.

Day 127: Tuesday, May 7, 2013

After work and Goga, we made grilled salmon with pickled carrots and daikon, fresh cilantro, and homemade tartar sauce on an onion bun for dinner. For dessert, I mixed together some peaches, blackberries, and blueberries with fresh mint, a splash of balsamic vinegar, some agave nectar, and a dollop of coconut milk with cinnamon and nutmeg. Quite refreshing! 100% plant-based! And deliciously nutritious!

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Day 128: Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Work has been especially busy, but good things are happening–it’s exciting to watch God work on the frontlines of Gospel advance…and behind the scenes too! After work and Goga (which is officially changing its name to iVIVA), I cooked up some linguini noodles and melted in some leftover curry sauce, adding some extra spices and a tablespoon of peanut butter to give it a little more of a Thai taste. Then I topped it with some fresh cilantro. The side dish is sautéed green onions, orange pepper, carrots, and daikon root with some turmeric, Thai basil, and lime zest. It turned out pretty good! For dessert, I repeated last night’s fruit and coconut milk treat.

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Journey Journal: Days 72-77

Day 72: Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today was a green smoothie day. Breakfast’s smoothie included spinach, lettuce, carrot, ginger, fresh lemon juice, fresh ginger root and honey–tasted like a spicy lemonade! Lunch’s smoothie included spinach, carrots, a frozen banana, strawberries, blackberries, ginger, lemon juice, and honey–very different than breakfast, and still quite good. For dinner, I made a stir-fry of rice, black-eyed peas, a scrambled egg, peppers, onions, garlic, and tomato. Bryan got home from work a couple hours later and I had a small portion of mac-n-cheese with him. Surprisingly, after being off dairy for basically a month or more, and after having loads of antioxidants all day, the dairy did not affect me nearly as much as it used to! So, apparently it’s not quite an allergy, but I still had some sinus issues the next day, so it’s still something I want to avoid as much as possible.

Day 73: Thursday, March 14, 2013

Highlight of today was lunch with Bryan and our friends Dave & Rachel downtown Greenville! I had fish tacos–no sour cream, but they were still delicious, topped with guacamole and Pico de Gallo. We always have a good time with them. Met up with Leigh at Goga after work for a workout and some sauna time–always a stress-reliever.

Day 74: Friday, March 15, 2013

Lunch with my mother-in-law at Ruby Tuesdays. Went with the Caribbean Chicken & Coconut-Crusted Shrimp, with sugar snap peas and their garden bar. It was a nice visit, and I really enjoyed the food. After work, my friend Carissa came over with her adorable puppy for a stroll around the neighborhood…and a good chat.

Day 75: Saturday, March 16, 2013

Started the day with Goga, after sleeping in and a quick bowl of cereal with almond milk and blackberries. Then worked for a couple of hours, did some errands and chores, went on a short walk–still, it was a bit of an “off” day, for whatever reason. I think we all have those from time to time–maybe it’s because I cheated with the dairy this week a little, or the barometric pressure whiplash of the season change, or the fact that I’m on a plateau with my weight loss, or whatever it is that throws us occasionally. I made pumpkin black bean soup and had that for lunch and supper with a few corn tortilla chips.

Day 76: Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fortunately, had a good night’s sleep. Grabbed a banana and some nuts for breakfast before heading out the door for church. Had a fabulous day of services at Heritage. J.D. Crowley, missionary to Cambodia, preached from Romans 7 and 8 in the morning service, and Danny Brooks preached from Galatians in the evening. Sandwiched between was 2nd grade Journey Group, Chinese lunch buffet with our co-teacher Sarah, coffee, setting up for evening service, and some fresh air on a short walk. God is so good! After church, I had a long chat with a dear friend and mentor and witnessed an incredible sunset! Since we’ve been pretty good overall with our diet, we decided to splurge and have grilled beef franks with baked beans, coleslaw, and fruit salad.

Day 77: Monday, March 18, 2013

Had an apple and some trail mix for breakfast with coffee. Lunch was leftovers from last night. Had a productive day at work…especially for a rainy Monday. For dinner, I had a free spicy chicken sandwich from Chik-fil-a with a small order of waffle fries, followed by a free soy latte from Starbucks with a dear friend, Faith. We had a great conversation! Then I headed to Bible study with the ladies for a conversation about how big our God is, and how we should never try to constrain Him into our man-made, mental, miniature boxes. The Gospel is Power…for salvation…for sanctification…for wisdom…for life…stronger than any other power out there! Simply put, the Gospel is Jesus Christ!

What to Do When Your Friends Go “Gluten Free”

I’ve had several friends recently find out they are either sensitive or allergic to glutens. Some just get worse headaches when they eat glutens and others found out they have a severe case of Celiac’s disease. There’s Gluten in SO many things now! But it can be done! It helps to remember that potatoes and rice are still okay. Most all-natural meats are GF (beware processed meats in general anyway, but especially when your Dairy Free or Gluten Free – they can be filled with additives). And, of course, fruits and veggies are always a win! Below are some resources I’ve gathered to use when I take treats to their house or have them over for dinner.

Some GF-Friendly Sites I Like:

 Most grocery stores have their own Gluten Free section now. If you haven’t tried Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah), it’s great! It’s a whole grain that’s gluten free and contains protein as well as Omega 3’s. And it can be served savory or sweet, hot or cold. It cooks kind of like rice, in about 15 minutes. Here’s my favorite recipe for breakfast: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/warm-and-nutty-cinnamon-quinoa-recipe.html.

You might also look into “Paleo Diet” or “Primal Blueprint” (aka Cave Man Diet) – they are heavy on meat and veggies and almost eliminate grains, so you could find some options using those too. I have a couple friends on Primal, and they have a really good grain free pizza crust that uses almond meal, egg, and parmesan cheese.

And, yes, they can still eat dessert! A couple of my favorite GF-Friendly desserts are the Flourless Brownies from Whole Foods Recipes and a No Bake Chilled Double Chocolate Torte recipe from Oh She Glows.

One thing I try to remind my newly-“GF” friends is to look at all the rich things God has given them to enjoy instead of focusing on what they can’t have. After all, they’re not the first people to have been given a food restriction (remember  Adam and Eve in the Garden – they were given a whole garden and told to avoid ONE tree). So, enjoy the “garden” and praise God for all His rich blessings!

What GF-Friendly sites or recipes are your favorites?

Turning 30’s Not So Bad…

Dark Chocolate Squares and Pumpkin Walnut Muffins with Golden Flaxseed and Cream Cheese Icing

Today was the end of my 30th year of life! I thought it would be more dramatic, but it really wasn’t. My husband and I both got the day/night off work and he brought me a dozen beautiful yellow roses from the Fresh Market!

Yellow Roses from Bryan

We celebrated with a few couples who are close friends this evening. We had a book exchange (white elephant style…minus the gag gifts) and everyone brought healthful hors d’oeuvres. It was SO much fun! I made little tent cards for people to label their dishes. Here’s a recap of the food:

Hors d'oeuvres Plates and Fun Napkins

Plenty of Organic Coffee!

All Natural and Organic Sparkling Juices

Tent Cards for Labeling Dishes

What a Beautiful, Healthful Array!

Veggies and Hummus

Caprese Skewers on Rosemary Branches

Grapes and Cheese Tray

Mini Turkey and Ham Subs with Creamy Mustard Dill Sauce

And a recap of the guests: Dave & Rachel, Rick & Jan (& baby Andrew), Nate & Leigh, and Bryan & me. Bryan created a great easy listening and light jazz playlist, which really set the mood for a relaxing time with friends. And the book exchange was fun too (though, there wasn’t much stealing, swapping, etc., with such a small crowd).

Dave & Rachel

Rick & Jan (Note: the Coca Cola in this picture is the original recipe with cane sugar instead of corn syrup)

Andrew - the life of the party!

Nathan - sorry, Nate, I couldn't get a serious picture of you. 🙂

Leigh (she's with Nate)

Me & Bryan

Book Exchange - everyone put your books in the middle!

Bryan with his new book - courtesy of Dave

Finally, I’ll close the eve of my 30th birthday with a few favorite quotes I found and picture of me and my man:

“Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty” -Robert Frost.

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes” -Frank Lloyd Wright.

So happy together...

Dinner: Moroccan Couscous with Sweet & Spicy Chicken and Honey Glazed Carrots

Believe it or not, this is a 30-minute meal! Everything came together very quickly and each piece took about the same amount of time to cook. The carrots and couscous are low maintenance (cover and cook on low, basically), and then you just have to watch the chicken. Tonight’s dinner came from this week’s meal plan:

I used Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs for the meat and we seasoned it with our favorite Sweet & Spicy Rub, pan-frying in about 1 Tbsp. of butter over medium-low heat (about 20 minutes).

For the couscous, I added chopped frozen spinach and minced garlic to the couscous as it was cooking instead of cooking the spinach separately (only cooks for 10 minutes after it comes to a boil).

For the Honey-Glazed Carrots, I peeled the carrots and left them whole. I added 1 Tbsp. of butter to a large saute pan over low heat. I lined up the carrots across the pan and covered them, letting them steam and become golden brown on one side (about 10 minutes). I rotated them one time, covered again, and let them finish browning on the opposite side. Meanwhile, I melted 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. Raw Mesquite Honey in a small saucepan with 1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes (fresh would be even better). I drizzled the honey butter over the carrots after they were plated. So pretty! (This took about 15-20 minutes from start to finish.)

Not pictured: a beautiful salad of romaine, grape tomatoes, green pepper slices, chopped carrots and chunks of feta cheese with a celery seed vinaigrette. (This was left over from last night, so it didn’t add into the prep time for tonight’s dinner, but if you prep your vegetables when they arrive, it makes it a lot easier to pull together quick dinners.)

We had our friends Nate & Leigh over for dinner and finished the evening with French Pressed Vanilla Coconut Coffee and a few games of Dominion. Bryan’s been wanting me to try it for months now. I think we know what we’re going to spend our anniversary gift on this year! This is such a fun game!

Weekending

This past weekend started with dinner at Flat Rock Cafe with Bryan and his folks. I had the Hickory Salmon on a Flatrock Salad, which has blue cheese, glazed walnuts, dried cranberries and sliced granny smith apples. Yum!

Saturday started early. Bryan had Men’s Prayer Breakfast at church, and I had my friend Heather (of Wife Mom Runner) over for breakfast. We had Basil Omelet Cups and Organic Fruit Salad. I added spinach, mushrooms, and ground sausage to the eggs and used mozzarella instead of cheddar. They were delicious! The fruit salad was compliments of all the wonderful things from my Milk & Honey Organics baskets the last two weeks (orange segments, apple, pear, banana, and blueberries). Yum! And such a good time catching up with Heather!

We stayed up far too late on Friday night catching up on Hulu and talking, so after Bryan got home, we took a short nap before I got ready for my lunch interview. It’s not what you think. I actually interviewed Christine, the owner of Milk & Honey Organics.

Christine and I met at Everyday Organic at Cherrydale (one of my new favorites) and had a wonderful time. She had the chicken salad on wheat and I had the Cherrydale Turkey on wheat (turkey, lettuce, goat cheese, and sliced granny smith apples), each with the quinoa salad as our side dish. We split our sandwiches so we could taste both of them. We talked as if we had been friends for years. I can’t wait to share the interview with you! Stay tuned for that!

For dinner, we met up with our old Game Night group and had a fun time playing Poker, eating chili, drinking IBC root beer, and sharing lemon tarts (along with the age old inside jokes, of course)!

The funniest part about this is that she just cleaned her husband out, and he's still cheering.

I ended up making graham cracker crust crackers (basically, press graham cracker crust into muffin papers and bake at 350F for 5-7 minutes) and topped them with Ina Garten’s lemon curd (in which I used 2 lemons and 2 key limes instead of 3 lemons) and some pomegranate arils. Yum! The first attempt, I filled the lemon curd into the muffin papers, but it never set (even when I tried freezing it), so we tried just a teaspoon on each graham cracker crust cookie, and it worked great. Picture below:

Sunday was a great day of services. Sunday morning, Pastor spoke on Romans 14 and dealing with differences among fellow Christians graciously. In our Sunday School class, we had a couple give a testimony of their experiences making difficult decisions (which included a long distance engagement, living in China, getting pregnant in the first few months of their marriage, having a child with only half a heart, doing a short term mission to Indonesia, getting pregnant again, and traveling on deputation to return to Indonesia). It was a wonderful, transparent time that really helped me see that we’re not the only couple going through life changing decisions and challenges.

Sunday lunch was garlic-y sauteed greens and roasted yams and yukons (golden potatoes, that is)! We haven’t consciously made a choice to become vegetarians or anything like that, but due to current budget constraints, it just happens in about 75% of our meals right now. The cool part is, we both love fruits and vegetables, and it’s fun experimenting with putting different ones together. And when we do splurge for meat, it doesn’t feel quite so bad to spend the money on all-natural and organic options because it’s more of a treat than a necessity.

Sunday night, we were privileged to watch the premiere showing of the fourth Dispatches from the Front DVD, a glimpse into God’s Kingdom in India. It was inspiring and beautiful! God really is working all over the world, and His purposes are so much bigger than I can understand. It’s like I’m looking up, asking “Why?” and only being able to see the underside of a tapestry. Meanwhile, God is looking down and seeing the beautiful artistry of all those strings woven together into a perfect picture! And I have to choose to stop trying to figure out the strings on the underside and just trust the Artist!

Finally, I want to share a blog I recently came across.

This blog is put together by a Christian couple, living a simple life. It’s called Frugal Granola, and I can’t stop reading it! Check it out. They’ve got great recipes, crafts, devotionals, etc., but the Simple Living section is my favorite. It’s like reading a beautiful novel. It’s about making difficult choices to follow the dream of a simple life, the challenges of miscarriage and adoption, the joys of being a stay-at-home mom, and the journey of their marriage. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I’ve been learning so much recently, but I’m having a hard time putting it into words. God is stretching me and reinforcing my heart’s desires and teaching me to trust Him by trusting my husband, and so many other things. Just know my heart is full. God is so good and I am truly overwhelmed by that instead of my circumstances right now. Have a great week! It’s a busy week, but I’ll be back soon, so stay tuned!

~Melissa

“Where Are You Now?”

Touching lyrics from Honor Society, “Where Are You Now?” written by Tom Higgenson. Good time reminiscing tonight about all the people that impacted my life and wondering “Where are you now?” Some friends are for seasons; some are for lifetimes. No matter which one, I thank God for your part in my life. Here are the lyrics:

“To my favorite teacher,
Told me never give up;
To my fifth grade crush,
Who I thought I really loved;
To the guys I’ve missed and the girls we’ve kissed,
Where are you now?

“To my ex-best friends,
Don’t know how we grew apart;
To my favorite band,
Sing along in my car;
To the face I see in my memory,
Where are you now?

“Where are you now?
Cause I’m thinking of you;
You showed me how-
How to live like I do;
If it wasn’t for you,
I would never be who I am.

“To my first girlfriend,
I thought for sure was the one;
To my last girlfriend,
Sorry that I screwed it up;
To the ones I loved,
Didn’t show it enough,
Where are you now?

“Where are you now?
Cause I’m thinking of you;
You showed me how-
How to live like I do;
If it wasn’t for you,
I would never be who I am.

“I know we’ll never see those days again,
And things will never be that way again,
But that’s just how it goes;
People change but I know
I won’t forget you.

“To the ones who came,
Who were there from the start;
To the love that left,
And took a piece of my heart;
To the few who’d swear
They’d never go anywhere,
Where are you now?

“Where are you now?
Cause I’m thinking of you;
You showed me how-
How to live like I do;
If it wasn’t for you,
I would never be how I am.
If it wasn’t for you,
I would never be who I am.
If it wasn’t for you,
I’d be nothing;
Where are you now?”